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Full text of "Memorials of a Yorkshire parish; an historical sketch of the parish of Darrington; with thirteen drawings by G.P. Rhodes"

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: : : : BY j. s. FLETCHER : : : : 




MMS3B71 } 









OCTOBER 29x11, 1914 


1HAVE endeavoured in the following pages to write 
what, in the nature of things, cannot claim to be more 
than a sketch, roughly drawn, of the history of the 
parish in which I lived as a boy and for which I retain 
a warm affection. I hope it may give some pleasure to the 
folk who live in Darrington nowadays, and that if it does 
nothing else it will stir up young people to take an interest 
in the past of their village. Some one of them, perhaps, 
may be sufficiently stirred to find out more about that past 
than I have been able to find, and to give his fellow- 
villagers a better and more complete account of Darrington 
than I have here given. 

I am under great and grateful indebtedness to the in- 
valuable publications of the Yorkshire Archaeological 
Society, the Yorkshire Parish Register Society, the Thoresby 
Society, and the Surtees Society ; to the various works of 
the late Mr. Richard Holmes of Pontefract, one of the most 
learned and painstaking antiquarian writers of his time, 
for whose labours his fellow- Yorkshiremen of like tastes 
feel a deepening and growing admiration and respect ; to 
the published papers and memoranda of the late Mr. T. W. 
Tew of Carleton, another enthusiastic searcher into the past ; 
and to the present Vicar of Darrington, the Reverend Canon 
Atkinson, and the Reverend Francis Wrangham, Rector of 
Hardenhuish, Wiltshire, for much kind help and suggestion. 
And I am particularly indebted to Mr. James Singleton of 


Leeds, who has carefully copied for me many ancient docu- 
ments, and has further added to the debt of obligation 
I owe him by making the Index to this book. 

J. S. F. 

November, 1916. 




INTRODUCTION ....... xiii 

















XVIII. MANOR OF DARRINGTON : 1709-1750 . . .102 

XIX. MANOR OF STAPLETON : 1702-1749 . . . 104 

XX. CHURCH LIFE : 1700-1750 .... 106 




XXIII. MANOR OF STAPLETON: 1762-1814 . . . 131 


A 2 IX 



XXVIII. DARRINGTON: 1835-1875 .... 
NOTES * ^ v.., ..-'._ 

I 4 I 
I 4 6 
I6 7 




DARRINGTON CHURCH ..... Frontispiece 




THE OLD VICARAGE ......,, 56 

DARRINGTON HALL . . . ,, 72 


STAPLETON HALL <. . ,, 104 


WENTBRIDGE .... . . ,, 136 





THE parish of Darrington lies in the centre of the 
Wapentake of Osgoldcross, one of the ancient 
divisions of the south-east portion of the West 
Riding of Yorkshire. It is three miles from 
Pontefract, twelve from Doncaster, twenty-four from York. 
It is intersected, during its entire length from north to south, 
by the Great North Road, which here forms a dividing line 
between its two principal manors of Darrington and Staple- 
ton. Both these townships are within the ecclesiastical 
parish ; so, too, is the village of Wentbridge ; so, also, are 
the outlying hamlets of Grove and Cridling. In extent the 
parish is one of the largest in the county ; its history can be 
traced from the time of Edward the Confessor ; it has never 
known any other industry than that of agriculture ; it is 
the only place of its name in England. 

The immediate surroundings of this parish are full of 
historical and romantic interest. Its market town, Ponte- 
fract, is, as Dean Swift said long ago, in all our histories. On 
the boundary of Wentbridge, at Barnsdale, are the last 
stretches of the great Forest of Sherwood, the Bruneswald 
of Hereward the Wake, the haunt of Robin Hood. At 
Ferrybridge, on the northern boundary of the parish, 
William the Conqueror rested for many weary days, seeking 
a passage, York-wards, over the swollen Aire, then in flood, 
and spending his enforced leisure in studying the strategic 
possibilities of the frowning promontory on which his hench- 
man, Ilbert de Lacy, was soon to build Pontefract Castle. 



Six hundred years later, that grim Norman fortress was the 
last place in England to hold out for the Stuart cause ; 
during its first siege Fairfax quartered himself at Carleton, 
on the Darrington boundary ; Cromwell himself stayed at 
Knottingley, two miles away, during the second siege, before 
he handed the conduct of affairs over to Lambert and went 
off to London, to assist in bringing Charles the First to the 
scaffold. A short distance along the Great North Road lie 
the meadows of Towton, scene of the fiercest battle ever 
fought between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians ; a few 
miles to the west is Wakefield, famous, too, for its associa- 
tion with the Wars of the Roses. These are matters of 
accepted history ; there may be some truth in the suggestion 
that Wentbridge was the scene of the battle of Winwsed, 
which saw the death of Penda and the triumph of Oswy. 
But in this stretch of English land the evidences and 
memorials of antiquity are many, and on all sides. The 
remains of Saxon and Norman architecture are in almost 
every hamlet. Many of the village churches are remarkable 
in a county which is world-famous for the size and beauty 
of its ecclesiastical monuments. Scarcely a yard of high- 
way, an acre of land, is there hereabouts which is not asso- 
ciated with the great deeds and outstanding figures of the 
past. Through this parish of Darrington rode many an 
English king, from the great Norman usurper to the fallen 
Stuart. Across its northern boundary, over the Great North 
Road, rode Wolsey to his Archbishopric of York, per- 
chance turning aside, as was his wont on that journey, to 
visit the sick folk and confirm the children ; across it he 
passed again, not many weeks afterwards, fallen for the 
last time. Down the Great North Road itself swept the 
eager forces of the Pilgrimage of Grace, the banner of the 
Five Wounds of Christ in their midst, resolute in their 
fervour for the bringing back of the old religion : along it, 
too, during the time of the Great Rebellion, streamed the 


men who carried the old pikes, or essayed the new muskets, 
on one or other of the sides which we know under the party 
titles of Roundhead and Cavalier. 

But there is another side to the romance which historical 
association throws over the records of this essentially rural 
parish. Along its wide road went kings and statesmen, 
soldiers and priests, merchants and pilgrims, in the old days ; 
along that road, too, in a later period, were seen rolling 
sedately, or lurking furtively, two features of English life 
which are almost as much things of the past as the knight 
and his squire the stage-coach and the highwayman. 
Until recently there were living in the parish of Darrington 
old men and women who could remember the time when 
from forty to sixty coaches passed the Crown Inn, going 
north or south, within the daylight hours to say nothing 
of post-chaises and private carriages. The posting-stage of 
this stretch was Doncaster Ferrybridge ; in Ferrybridge 
to this day stand the old coaching inns, great rambling places 
now transformed into smaller houses and tenements, their 
vast stables fallen to rack and ruin. Within the memory of 
middle-aged people, the last of the postboys lived in Ferry- 
bridge an old fellow who had ridden the stage between his 
native village and Doncaster some wondrous number of 
times in fair weather or foul. There were few empty 
stretches of road in those days, what with the coaches, the 
post-chaises, the family holdall, the goods' waggons, and the 
great droves of Scotch cattle which were shod with iron so 
that their feet could last out during the long journey from 
beyond the Cheviots to the English Midlands and London. 
But some parts of the road were, from natural causes, more 
solitary than others, and two bits of it in the parish of 
Darrington were much to the liking of the gentlemen who, 
in the expressive phraseology of those days, devoted their 
talents to the High Toby. Highwaymen particularly 
favoured the stretch of road near Grove Hall, half-way 


between Darrington and Ferrybridge, and the lonely 
expanse which crosses the headlands, known as Dale Fields, 
just above the sudden fall of highway into Wentbridge. At 
both these points there were no human habitations, unless 
it were a shepherd's thatched hut, put up in lambing-time 
nothing more solitary was to be found in all the stretch of 
the road from York to London. Many a highway robbery 
was carried out in this parish and we set them down now- 
adays to either Turpin or Nevinson. That both Turpin and 
Nevinson were much in evidence in Darrington and the neigh- 
bouring villages is true there are records of them and that 
one of them thundered through the parish on his famous ride 
to York is also true. But if we are to apportion things 
fairly, there seems to be little doubt that the deeds attributed 
to Turpin so far as this neighbourhood was concerned 
should really be fathered on Nevinson. Nevinson is the real 
hero of our piece of the highway it was in our parish that 
he loved to drink a cup and take a purse ; it was just outside 
its borders that he and his horse executed the most wonderful 
of leaps ever made by horse and rider ; it was not far from 
us that he was arrested, and if he was not duly hanged within 
our confines, it was because York, like all chief centres of 
population, desired to keep that business to itself. 

Few counties of England have more diversity of scenery 
and variety of natural features than Yorkshire, ranging from 
the wild mountainous country of the Lancashire and West- 
morland borders to the dead levels of Thorne Waste the 
parish of Darrington is an excellent example of the undulat- 
ing lands which lie on the southern extremity of the great 
Vale of York. There is much diversity within its bound- 
aries, and the differences in the scenery are sharply defined. 
The country rises gradually from the valley of the Aire at 
Ferrybridge until it forms a long wide plateau, which 
stretches from the eastern boundary of the parishes of 
Pontefract and Carleton to the western line of the parish of 


Womersley. This plateau is a wide expanse of cultivated 
land, broken up by small coppices and plantations. From 
one of these, Black Clump, a landmark for many miles on 
the road to York, the land suddenly drops away into a long 
straight dip, which extends from Darrington Mill on the 
west to the beginnings of Womersley on the east. In this 
dip lies the village of Darrington, cut through by a road 
which leads from Pontefract, and after passing through 
Darrington, Stapleton, and Womersley (and bisecting the 
Great North Road at Darrington) winds away into the low- 
lying land towards Goole. On the south side of the village 
the land again rises gently to another plateau a long wide- 
stretching expanse of good land shut in to the east by the 
woods of Stapleton and terminating on the west in the long 
high ridge called Went Hill, which stretches from Darrington 
Mill to Wentbridge, commands vast-spreading views of the 
surrounding country, and looks down on the neighbouring 
villages of Carleton, East Hardwick, Thorpe, Badsworth, 
and Ackworth. From the southern edge of this second 
plateau the land again falls away, this time with a surprising 
sharpness, into one of the most romantic, though least 
known, of the smaller Yorkshire dales Brockodale. Local 
usage attributes this name to the badgers or brocks which 
used to be found in the valley, but the probable real deri- 
vation is from the Anglo-Saxon broc, a rushing stream. At 
the western extremity of this Swiss-like glen lies Wentbridge, 
one of the prettiest villages in the county, through which 
runs the River Went, a tributary of the Don. Brockodale 
forms the outer boundary of the manor of Stapleton, and, 
therefore, of the parish of Darrington; from its southern 
side the land rises again to another wide-spreading tableland 
which terminates in the woods of Barnsdale. 

The aspect of this parish is as suggestive to the student 
of history as it is pleasing to the lover of characteristically 
English scenery. If there is nothing wild, grand, or romantic 


in the strict sense of the word, there is abundance of that 
scenery which is eminently English upland, lowland, rich 
meadow, cultivated field, wood, coppice, orchard, garden. 
The man who can read a landscape as some men read faces, 
knows that he is here face to face with one of those English 
villages which have been under the careful cultivation of 
man for far more than a thousand years. Whether, in some 
far-off age, this parish was part of some wild waste of forest- 
land, with here and there a clearing, is a question impossible 
of definite answer : what is definite is that, from such times 
as we can obtain some record of, it has been what it still is 
a farming village. Anywhere within its wide boundaries 
there are no traces of ancient woods. There is not a tree in 
any of its hamlets which is of a remarkable age. Such oaks 
as it can show are neither great in size nor old in years as 
oaks go. It is rich in beech, chestnut, and elm but the 
beeches are infants when compared with those of Burnham, 
and the elms youthful in contrast with such specimens of 
antiquity as one finds by the score in Suffolk and Essex. 
Such woods as there are have all been planted since the time 
of the Stuarts if there is one arboreal remnant of antiquity 
in the village it is a cedar in the grounds of Darrington Hall. 
And all this goes to prove that here from time immemorial 
man has made the land his servant. There was a village 
here, and a church, and a mill, and human labour busy, long 
before the Norman came : men had been here, indeed, for 
generations before the Roman came. Countless successions 
of Darrington men tilled the soil, did what they could 
to refresh the soil, so assiduously cultivated, cut the wood, 
set new wood in the earth but always they made the 
earth their servant. Here, then, as in many an English 
parish, the evidences of antiquity are not in the old trees, 
but in the living men. There are men living in this parish 
to-day who, if they cared to take the trouble and had 
the necessary craft to do it, could trace their pedigree, with- 


out one single break, back to the beginnings of their parish 
register. They follow the plough, common labourers, as 
their ancestors were four hundred years ago, and have been 
ever since, and as the ancestors of their ancestors were long 
before any register came to be. In the lives of such men, 
and of the grey stones amongst which they and their fathers 
have had their day, lies the true history of England and the 




ABarnsdale Bar, some three miles from the 
southern boundary of the parish of Darrington, 
there runs alongside the Great North Road a 
raised and regularly shaped mass of stone and 
earth which looks like a hundred yards of railway embank- 
ment on which grass and weeds have been allowed to grow. 
It may be that most men who see it do not know what it is : 
those who do, recognize it for a piece of the old Roman 
road which connected Danum (Doncaster) with Legiolum 
(Castleford). There are other bits of it between Barnsdale 
and Doncaster, but none so plain as this, where it reached 
the highest point of this part of Yorkshire. One may 
imagine its makers arriving at this high point in the forest 
after following a primitive track which here bifurcated. 
Thence they would look northward over a vast rolling 
country, the middle of Yorkshire before them, the long 
low lines of the Wolds on their right, the hills above the 
Calder to their left. But it needs no imagination to decide 
why their makers took the left-hand, or western, fork of 
that primitive track, instead of the right hand, or eastern. 
It was always the Roman policy to make for any given point 


by the straightest line, and the Roman objective here was 
the lead mines of Nidderdale. And so what is called the 
old Roman road to the heart of Yorkshire was made at first 
not through Darrington and Tadcaster direct to York, but 
by Castleford and Aberford to Wetherby, whence there was 
easy access to the Nidderdale lead, of which a Roman 
stamped ingot, smelted about A,D. 87, may be seen in the 
British Museum by whoever cares to look at it. 

But if those Roman pioneers, intent on commerce, had 
taken the eastern track through the edge of the great 
forest, and had come upon what is now the parish of Dar- 
rington, what would they have found there ? A community 
already established, small in numbers, but brave and resolute 
people of Celtic origin, closely allied to the Irish, of a 
certain amount of civilization, gifted with imagination, 
knowing something of music and poetry, skilled in an ele- 
mentary way in the working of the metals, and of some 
proficiency in tilling the soil. Such small communities were 
all over the land. How they were governed, what their 
religion was, what their communal laws were, we do not 
know what we do know is that they appear to have lived 
together on something like a co-operative system, and to 
have cultivated the land by the method of strip-farming. 
Into their midst came the Roman influence, the Roman 
ways. Roads took the place of tracks, towns sprang up 
where hamlets had stood, the corn-growing area was 
extended, wastes were brought under the primitive plough. 
When the Romans withdrew from Britain, after four 
centuries of occupancy, most of the land was under culti- 
vation, and the people who lived on it were generally 
prosperous and often well-to-do. 

With the Romans came Christianity, and as there were 
Christian churches in York itself, and in some of the adjacent 
places, there is no wild conjecture in surmising that there 
may have been a Christian Church in Darrington as far back 


as the third century. But what happened in the sixth 
century effectually destroyed all trace of what had gone 
before. The English arrived. Many strange strains went 
to the making of them. They were Saxons and Angles and 
Jutes and Frisians, with not a little Asiatic and barbarian 
blood in them wild, lawless, fierce men, whose only law 
was their own will, their own need. As they swept across 
the land from the east coast they drove the Celts before 
them by the end of the sixth century there was probably 
no Celt left in Darrington, save as the slave of the new- 
comers. But the Celts left behind them one memorial 
which has existed to this day in the name of the only river 
which the parish possesses the Went, for that is clearly 
derived from the Celtic. 

It was under the rule of its new masters, whom history 
groups together as Anglo-Saxons, that Darrington and 
Stapleton got the beginnings of their present names. The 
tun was the original enclosure of the settler the patch of 
land round which a hedge was planted, or which was fenced 
in against others by a rude palisading. It was at first a 
single homestead, farm, croft, kept and defended by its 
owner. But by degrees it was applied as a general term 
to a collection of such enclosures ; it became what later 
generations called a town. The termination of our parish 
name, then, is easily accounted for ; it is the tun of the 
Anglo-Saxon time. But what is Barring and what is 
Staple ? Ing was the Anglo-Saxon patronymic ; the sur- 
name. When it is appended to a prefix it signifies (with 
that prefix) a family settlement, the parent, the original 
settlement; when the suffix tun is applied to it and its 
prefix, a filial colony, sent out from the parent settlement, 
is implied. Darrington, then, is the town of a branch 
of some Anglo-Saxon family of Darring, or Durring. or 
Darding. Stapleton is not so easily accounted for; it 
may not have been so called when its sister-manor was 


first called Darrington, its exact name came later. Mr. 
H. E. Chetwynd-Stapylton, in a letter written to the 
Yorkshire Archaeological Journal some years ago, advanced 
the theory that although the name of Stapleton is at least 
as old as the time of the Domesday Survey, there is no 
evidence that the name was in existence in Saxon times, 
and suggested that it was brought to the place by a colony 
of Stapletons, or Stapeltons, who migrated to this part of 
Yorkshire from the banks of the Tees as late as 1072. But 
it is hardly likely that any Saxon name which the place 
had up to 1072 should not have been mentioned in a 
document written, as Domesday Book was, in 1085. Staple- 
ton, in all probability, had been so called for some centuries. 
Its name may have arisen from some of its first holders, 
Stapels, or Stepels, or it may have come from the Anglo- 
Saxon Stapol, a pillar, or post, of wood or stone, set up to 
mark the site of an ancient market. There are several 
Stapletons in England ; there are more Staplef ords. In the 
last-named case the origin of the name is obvious the post 
marking the place of the ford across the river. Not one of 
these Stapletons or Staplefords has ever been a market- 
town, but the Stapletons may have been convenient centres 
for the exchange of goods, without possession of a market 
charter. But it is certain that by the time Domesday Book 
was compiled both these manors had acquired definite 
names, which there appear in good Latin. 

But for some centuries before Domesday Book Darrington 
had been living its life as an Anglo-Saxon village community, 
and it probably lived that life, little troubled by the Danish 
incursions, being well out of the way of them, until the time 
of Edward the Confessor. We can reconstruct that life. 
During the seventh century, Christianity came to it. It 
may have been in it during the time of the Roman settlement 
of Yorkshire ; if it was, it was certainly driven out when the 
Anglo-Saxons came, for they were worshippers of Odin and 


Thor, pagans. Who brought Christianity to it, in the 
seventh century, is a debatable question. It may have been 
Christianized, like many another district of the North, by 
Celtic missionaries from Ireland. But it is much more 
probable that this part of Yorkshire got its Christianity 
from Roman missionaries like Paulinus, who is known to 
have made and baptized converts by thousands all along the 
neighbouring valley of the Calder. And when it became 
Christianized, it would have a church, and a priest ; and the 
priest, by virtue of his office, would be a free man, and the 
scene of his ministrations, humble enough in the beginning, 
was doubtless a rude edifice built on the very site of the 
discarded heathen temple in which blood sacrifice had been 
offered to the old Norse gods. 

This church, however small and rude, would be one centre 
of the village the other would be the hall of the estate- 
holder. Clustered about it would be the houses of the 
farmers, and the cots of those of lower degree. The farmers 
were ceorls, peasants, or thegns men sworn to military 
service ; the lesser folk were cotters, small holders ; some 
of them were slaves, descendants of the dispossessed Celts. 
These lower folk, too, were liable to military service, if need 
arose. But the occupations of the community were mainly 
peaceful, and when peaceful, entirely agricultural. They 
grew wheat, barley, oats, rye, beans, peas, in unhedged fields 
which were divided into strips, so many strips being appor- 
tioned to a family. On a common stretch of land in the 
centre of the village the people fed their fowls, their ducks, 
their geese ; into the woods which lay outside they drove 
their swine to feed on mast and acorns. They managed the 
affairs of the place through the Moot, or village meeting, 
which was held in the church, or on some convenient 
eminence known as the Moot Hill, or beneath some ancient 
oak or elm, which, in consequence, was called the Moot-Tree, 
All questions of farming were settled by the Moot ; the Moot, 


too, appointed the parish officials the Reeve, who was a 
sort of Mayor ; the Hayward, who managed land matters ; 
the Meadsman, who had charge of the meadow-land ; the 
Woodreve, who saw to the woods ; the ploughmen, the 
oxherds, the beeherds, the swineherds, and the shepherds. 
If there was need to approach other neighbouring village 
communities, the Moot appointed the priest of the church 
and two or more townsmen of good standing, to act as a 
deputation. By the Moot all provision of taxes was made, 
and all monetary questions settled between the community 
and the estate-holder. It was, in short, a village parliament, 
with plenary powers over all within the village boundaries. 

Such was the Anglo-Saxon village community during the 
greater part of the centuries which followed the invasion of 
Britain by the mixed multitude whom we call the English. 
But by the time of Edward the Confessor the conditions of 
village life had changed in some places a great deal ; in 
others, little. Where they had changed greatly it was where 
the estate owners had waxed strong and powerful, and had 
attained something of the lordship of those who were, un- 
known to themselves, to succeed them. Such men had in 
their villages a hall of residence, a farm within their grounds, 
and barns and granaries for the storing of produce, which 
produce came to them often as tribute or tax. Also, two 
different classes of farmers had sprung up. There were the 
farmers of the better sort, commonly called socmen, who held 
a goodly share of the arable land, and another share in the 
common land : such men usually rendered military service 
to their overlord, and they were free men. Then there were 
the farmers of the peasant class, who were still serfs in the 
sense that they were bound to work for their superior : they 
probably worked for him two days a week, and they paid 
tribute to him in kind. Beneath these classes were cotters, 
who held a few acres in the common land, and were bound 
to work for the overlord most of their time. And there were 



still slaves, though they were comparatively few in number, 
All these people joined in supporting the priest of the church, 
either by tithes paid directly to himself, or to the bishop 
of the diocese ; he also benefited by the produce raised from 
certain duly apportioned acres in the common land. And 
already the churches had begun to be endowed by the piety 
of landowners who devised portions of their estates to them. 
Nearly a thousand years have gone since they were dis- 
possessed of their lands by the Norman invaders, but we 
know who were the last English owners of Darrington and 
Stapleton. Darrington was held by two men, Baret and 
Alsi : it was in their time the largest and most prosperous 
place in the neighbourhood, and its taxable value was 8. 
There were two holders of Stapleton ; the Baret of Dar- 
ington was one of them ; Ulchil was the other ; the value 
of that manor was just half that of Darrington. In Staple- 
ton there were five ploughs in use ; in Darrington eight. 
At Darrington there was a church and a priest, and a mill 
which was of the taxable value of 35. That record of the 
mill is of more interest than would appear at first sight ; it 
shows that a thousand years ago, windmills, ever since then 
a great feature of this country, were in use. For this was 
certainly a windmill the forerunner of the mill at the 
northern end of Went Hill ; there has never been any 
water-force in Darrington by which a mill could be driven. 
Whether the mill belonged to Baret or to Alsi does not 
appear. But there is ground for supposing that Baret was 
the great man of the place. Baret held land in all that 
neighbourhood. He is recorded as holding land at Staple- 
ton, Smeaton, Knottingley, Beal, Roall, and Kellington. 
Moreover, one hears of him after the Norman Conquest, 
for he is returned as being sub-feudatory of some of the lands 
which he had previously possessed at Kellington, Roall, 
and Beal which means that having been turned out as 
landlord, he was admitted as tenant. But we hear no more 


of him in connection with either Darrington or Stapleton. 
Of the other two Englishmen, Alsi and Ulchil, we hear no 
more either. Just as the Anglo-Saxons had driven out the 
old Celts, so the Normans drove out the old English usually 
with scant mercy. Alsi and Ulchil may have wandered 
away, homeless and penniless, into the neighbouring 
Bruneswald, to join Hereward and his band of refugees from 
Ely and the Fens, or they may have accepted the Norman 
rule and become nonentities whatever their fate, we hear 
no more of them in connection with the lands which once 
were theirs. 



THE Norman Conqueror, after the decisive victory 
over the last of the English kings at Senlac, 
lost little time in effecting the settlement of his 
new possessions on definite lines. He began with 
a drastic measure. The titles to have and hold land of the 
old Anglo-Saxon owners, of whatever degree, layman or 
cleric, were summarily cancelled the whole country, from 
Land's End to the scarcely known Northern regions, was 
declared to be the new king's, by right of conquest. William 
at once proceeded to parcel it out. He made grants of 
immense tracts of country to those of his followers who were 
in his own personal suite, and to the Norman clerics who had 
followed him to England. He apportioned smaller tracts 
to his men of lesser degree every Norman had some share 
in the spoil. But there were Anglo-Saxons who made the 
best of the matter, and took the oath of allegiance to the 
Conqueror they were granted their old estates, or, as in 
the case of Baret of Darrington, permitted to lease them as 
sub-feudatories from the new owners. With the new order 
of things came the new conditions of tenure. Feudalism 
sprang into existence at a word from the masterful Norman. 
There was to be no land without its lord : no lord who was 
not under direct obligation to his king. That regulation 
settled the relations between William and those to whom he 
gave the land ; but there was one other which affected the 
new landlords in their relations with those who were already 



on the land. William, the shrewdest man of his day, knew 
that no king is secure on his throne if there is discontent 
in his kingdom and so the royal edict went forth that no 
man was to be disturbed, no new things were to be done. 
The farmers and the peasants were to continue as before ; 
all that had happened to them was that they had new 
masters in place of the old ones. 

But in this, William's common sense for once failed him. 
The new landlords were for the most part Normans ; the 
folk on the land were English compounded of many strains, 
with Anglo-Saxon and Danish blood, and its consequent 
love of independence, strong in them. The Normans did 
not understand the English, nor the English the Normans. 
And almost at once the discontent which William had 
earnestly desired to avoid, flamed out in open rebellion in 
different parts of his new realm. The men of the North, 
always sturdy in their likes and dislikes, rose three times : 
it was finally to suppress the third and most important of 
their risings that William himself came North in the last 
months of 1069. The Danes were in league with the English 
rebels, and in great force on the banks of the Humber and 
Ouse. William whose army must needs have passed, hot- 
foot, through Darrington reached Ferrybridge to find the 
Aire in flood, and Brotherton Marsh a vast waste of water. 
He lay there for three weeks, spending some of his time in 
examining the strategic possibilities of the remarkable rock- 
like promontory which projected from the eastern side of the 
little town of Tateshale (Pontefract) into the land about the 
Aire. No man who ever lived had a keener eye for advan- 
tageous military sites than William the Conqueror, and 
when he came a little later to apportion the Northern lands, 
he gave that promontory to Ilbert de Lacy, one of his chief 
lieutenants, and with it the strict command to raise on it 
the fortress which became and remained the strongest castle 
of Northern England until its dismantlement in 1649. 


But before Ilbert de Lacy laid the first stones of Ponte- 
fract Castle, and entered into possession of the lands which 
his master gave him in such quantity, much that was dread- 
ful happened in this part of England. William, after that 
eventful three weeks of waiting at Ferrybridge, crossed the 
Aire at last, and marched on York. The Danes had fled 
to their ships when he arrived there. He detached a part 
of his army to cover their movements ; with the rest he 
began his work of vengeance on the North. A terrible 
example must be made Yorkshire, as the worst offender, 
must suffer worst. So began that awful punishment known 
to England as the Harrying of the North. What its effect 
was we may learn from the old chroniclers. William of 
Malmesbury, writing of it thirty years later, says that in his 
day the soil was still bare. Townships, farmsteads, cottages 
were burnt or razed to the ground. Famine was every- 
where. One old writer says that men ate each other's flesh. 
Even the animals were driven into the flames to perish with 
the crops and the dead stock. The land, up to that time so 
smiling and prosperous, became the abode of desolation. 

Did Darrington escape this terrible manifestation of the 
new Norman power ? It is more than probable that it did. 
William's order of vengeance was explicit. The land was 
to be laid waste from Humber to Tyne. Now Darrington 
is south of the line of the Humber : moreover, Darrington 
was already included in the grant of land which had been 
made to Ilbert de Lacy, who was undoubtedly one of the 
Conqueror's favourites. There is no record that it escaped, 
but we do know that the neighbouring townships of Elmsall 
and Conisborough were spared. The line between spared 
and unspared probably ran along that of the Calder, as 
pursuing the line of the Humber. Moreover, while so many 
hundreds of Yorkshire manors are set down in Domesday 
Book as waste, those of Darrington and Stapleton are re- 
turned as of a value which, if not as great as in the time of 


Edward the Confessor, is still non-accordant with the 
supposition that they had been devastated. There is 
strong presumption, then, that when the harrying of the 
Northern lands began, these manors, being somewhat out 
of the condemned area, and the property of Ilbert de Lacy, 
were exempted. 

It is from the returns known as Domesday Book that we 
gain such news of Darrington and Stapleton at that period 
as can now be recovered. Domesday Book is a record of a 
survey made by the commissioners of William the Conqueror 
during the years 1085-1086 twenty years after his victory 
over Harold at Senlac. It consists of two volumes different 
in size. The larger contains 382 leaves of parchment, with 
five old fly-leaves at the beginning and four at the end of the 
volume. The smaller contains 450 leaves of vellum. Black 
and red ink are used in the writing ; the penmanship in the 
larger volume is very clear and of fine workmanship ; in the 
smaller it is of a coarser character. There are evidences 
that the various sheets were written in various counties, 
by many different hands, before being gathered together, 
which gathering probably took place at Winchester, then 
the capital of England. The date is fixed in the colophon 
at the end of the second volume, which records, in Latin, 
that " In the one thousand and eighty-sixth year from our 
Lord's Incarnation, but the twentieth of the reign of King 
William, this description was made/' The duties of the 
commissioners appointed to make the description of the 
recently conquered kingdom were clearly defined to them. 
They were to inquire the name of each manor, who held it in 
the time of Edward the Confessor, and who was its present 
possessor. They were to ascertain how many hides of land 
were there, how many ploughs, how many homagers 
(feudatory tenants), villeins (serfs), cottars (inferior tenants), 
free tenants, and socmen (inferior landowners) : they were 
also to report how much wood, meadow, and pasture there 


was ; how many mills and fishponds were in the place, and 
if anything had been taken from it, or added to it, of late 
years. They were to ascertain what its gross value had been 
in the time of Edward the Confessor, and what its present 
value was : finally, they were to report how much land each 
freeman or socman had, and if any advance could be made 
in the value. 

From the entries in Domesday Book which refer to them 
we know what the economic values of the manors of Dar- 
rington and Stapleton were in 1086, when the Norman rule 
had been in existence twenty years. We have already 
learned what the value and condition of these manors was 
under their Saxon holders, Baret, Alsi, and Ulchil. By 1086 
the value had fallen : Darrington from 8 to 100 shillings ; 
Stapleton from 4 to 3. In Darrington the commissioners 
found sixteen villeins, six bordars (cottagers), and twelve 
ploughs, with three carucates of land a carucate being, 
roughly speaking, the area of land which one plough could 
turn in a year. In Stapleton they found two-and-a-half 
carucates, four villeins, twelve bordars, four ploughs, and 
an acre of meadow. And of each manor they report that 
it is now held by Ilbert de Lacy. 



WE know little of the old English owners of 
Yorkshire land, but of the new Norman owners 
history tells us a good deal. It was to those 
in the immediate service of the Conqueror that 
the chief spoils of his victory fell. Yorkshire passed, 
almost in entirety, into the hands of the great Norman 
barons who had come in William's train, or to men like 
Waltheof , who came of the old royal stock, but threw in their 
lot with the new order of things. To Waltheof himself, of 
the ancient house of Siward of Northumbria, was given all 
the land about Sheffield and Hallamshire ; he held it but a 
few years, fell into disfavour, was dispossessed, and saw it 
given to the Norman de Busli. Earl Warrene got the land 
north of Sheffield, with Conisborough and Sandal, Thorne 
and Hatfield. The Romilles got Skipton, with vast tracts 
of land in Craven and Upper Airedale. More Craven lands, 
with properties in Ribblesdale, and large estates at Top- 
cliff e, Wressell, Spofforth, and Leconfield were bestowed 
on the Percies. The Estotvilles got Knaresborough, Kirby 
Moorside, and Cottingham. The lordship of Holderness, 
after a brief tenancy by Drogo de Beurere, was taken from 
him and given to William's brother-in-law, Odo d'Aumale, 
with more land in Lincolnshire, Holderness being considered 
but a poverty-stricken place to give to anybody. The wide 
stretch of land which we know as the Vale of Mowbray took 
its name in the first instance from Robert de Mowbray, 



nephew of Gosfrid of Coutance, one of the Norman bishops 
who followed William, to whom it was first given, and who 
possibly ordered the building of the castles at Thirsk, 
Kirkby Malzeard, and Slingsby, in which the Mowbray 
state was kept up for many generations. Wensleydale, 
either during William's time or very soon afterwards, came 
into possession of the Scropes ; Ravensworth and Cother- 
stone, with other lands alongside Tees, into that of the Fitz- 
Hughs ; along other parts of the Tees, land was held by the 
Baliols, the Nevilles, the Bruces. Yvo de Vesci got Malton ; 
a Fossard got Mulgrave and the adjacent sea-coast. Picker- 
ing and its vale, in which in time rose several strongly 
fortified places and small castles, William kept for himself 
all that part of Yorkshire remained Crown land for two 
hundred years, when it became merged in the Duchy of 
Lancaster. But to two of his chief adherents William made 
grants beside which the remainder seemed comparatively 
insignificant. To Alan of Bretagne, whom the Normans 
called Alain, and his fellow- Bretons, Fergall the Red-Haired, 
he gave the wild and romantic stretch of country which is 
intersected by the River Swale. There, near its principal 
manor of Gilling, Alan built a great castle on a promontory- 
like hill at the foot of which ran the Swale, and was pre- 
cipitous on all sides save one, where it was joined to the land 
by a narrow neck. To this castle he gave the French name 
which has since been transformed into our familiar Rich- 
mond. A similar change in name, a similar work in con- 
struction, was made by the other chief recipient of Northern 
lands, Ilbert de Lacy. Amongst his new possessions was 
the town and manor of what had been called until then 
Tateshale ; there he began the building of the great strong- 
hold which ere long came to be known as Pontefract Castle. 
There is little to be learnt from history of Ilbert de Lacy 
himself. But it is certain that he was one of the Conqueror's 
chief captains, and that he conducted widespreading and 


important military operations in Lancashire and Yorkshire. 
The grant of land which William made to him extended 
from Lancashire over the Yorkshire border, along much of 
the valley of the River Aire, into Lincolnshire. In addition 
to the great stronghold at Pontefract he or his immediate 
successors built less important fortresses at Barwick, near 
Leeds, in the Forest of Elmete, and at Almondbury, near 
Huddersfield. Whether he ever visited his manors of Dar- 
rington and Stapleton we may well doubt ; near as they 
were to Pontefract, they were but two patches of land 
amongst scores of similar possessions. There are but few 
records of the connection between the de Lacy lords and 
Darrington, but it was during their sway that the old Saxon 
church was enlarged by the addition of the north and south 
aisles : we may judge from this that under them the 
population developed. Like all Norman barons, the de 
Lacys were good patrons to the Church. Robert de Lacy 
gave land for the Cluniac Priory at Pontefract, and he ranks 
as the formal founder of the Augustinian Priory of Nostell, 
where, previous to the Conquest, a body of hermits, having 
a house and church, had existed. During the de Lacy lord- 
ship the already existing churches at Pontefract, Ackworth, 
Ledsham, Smeaton, Womersley, Badsworth, Featherstone, 
Castleford, and Fryston were added to and repaired, 
probably about the same time that Darrington church was 
enlarged. It was also about this time that the churches of 
Birkin, Campsall, Owston, and Knottingley were built it 
was the age of much activity in church building and repair. 
The particular de Lacy who was the principal instrument in 
these good works was probably Henry, who about 1147, in 
satisfaction of a vow which he had made during sickness, 
founded at Barnoldswick in Craven the Cistercian house 
which six years later was transferred to Kirkstall, there to 
become one of the most prosperous and powerful of English 


There is nothing to show that any de Lacy ever resided in 
the manor-house of Darrington. In that, during the de 
Lacy rule, the lord's bailiff doubtless lived. The only 
probable connection between the de Lacys and their Dar- 
rington manor was in the matter of receiving their dues 
from it. With their manor of Stapleton they had still less 
direct connection. At the time of the Domesday survey 
Ilbert de Lacy had already leased Stapleton to one Gilbert, 
son of Dama, who may have been a Saxon. No surname is 
appended to Gilbert in Domesday Book, but his son was 
known as Hugh de Stapleton, and there a family of that 
name arose which appears to have bought Stapleton out- 
right from its Norman owners. About the end of the 
thirteenth century this family died out in the male line, 
and the sole representative, Clara de Stapleton, married 
Warren de Scargill, who thus became possessed of the 
estate. The de Lacy family became similarly extinct ; its 
lands, too, passed by marriage. In the year 1400 Dar- 
rington was in possession of Sir William Fitz William, who 
was eighth in descent from his ancestress, Albreda de Lacy, 
wife of Robert de Lissours, and last of her race. 




labours of the historian, the archaeologist, 
and the antiquary enable us of this age to form 
something very like an accurate idea of what life 
would be in Darrington during the time in which 
the de Lacys were its overlords. Without resorting to 
imagination, we can make for ourselves a picture of the 
village as it was at that period, we can tell how it was 
arranged, what its houses were like, what the people did, 
what food they ate, how they were clothed, how they amused 
themselves : we can see them in their daily life, in their 
religious observances, in their general relation to the world 

And to begin with, the Darrington of the thirteenth 
century say the very end of that century, when its ancient, 
Saxon church had been restored and much altered, and 
its first recorded vicar (Henry de Stanford) had come into 
residence was vastly unlike the village which we see 
to-day. It is now, like many Yorkshire villages of its type, 
a long straggling place, its houses, farmsteads, and cottages 
set on either side of one main street. In those days it was a 
comparatively small place, clustered as closely as possible 
to its centre the church. In all probability all the houses, 
whether farmsteads or cottages, lay within three hundred 
yards of the church all on the south side. From the 
boundary of Carleton to Mr. Taylor's farm there was 
probably no single house nothing at all in the shape of 



building save the primitive windmill, set on the ridge to 
catch the winds. On the other side, there was probably no 
house of any sort nearer than Stapleton. There were no 
dwellings about the Cross Roads ; there was no inn where 
the Crown now stands ; there was no Hall in its walled 
grounds and gardens. There was indeed no Hall at all, 
as we understand the word ; no great mansion such as great 
folk live in. What, then, was there ? Where the old 
vicarage now stands, and on the plots of land to the west of 
it, there was the manor-house, with its barns, its granaries, 
its stables, its sheds, its garden, its orchard. Behind, there 
was the newly restored church even then a primitive 
enough edifice. Round about manor-house and church 
were the houses of the better sort of peasants : in and about 
them were the cots of the lower sort. In the midst of these 
buildings, probably on the site of the field which lies on the 
left the west side of the narrow lane leading up to the 
school, was a common piece, or village green, which possibly 
extended across to the orchard which is now on the other 
side of the main street. At some possibly at more than 
one corner of this green there would be a well or wells ; on 
the green itself children, ducks, fowls, geese strayed as they 
liked. All around manor-house, church, houses, and cots 
rose elm, beech, and chestnut ; outside this natural forti- 
fication lay the land, unenclosed as yet, hedgeless, therefore, 
and fenceless, and still cultivated in strips. Beyond it, 
beyond the moorland which had not yet been turned by the 
plough, were the woods, dark, gloomy, forbidding to folk 
who had no learning and many superstitions, and into which, 
accordingly, none but the woodman and the pigherd ever 
cared to penetrate. 

Though the manor-house was in no sense what we should 
call a Hall, it was little more than a hall, in the strict sense 
of the word, in those days. It was a right-angled building, 
open right up to the high pitch of its roof, partly built of 


wood, partly of stone, and its roof was either of straw-thatch 
or of wood shingles nailed to the rafters. Its windows were 
high in the walls, and were provided with shutters ; its one 
door, which opened outwards and stood open all day long, 
was a massive affair of oak, studded with great iron nails. 
Here lived the bailiff, steward, representative, of the lord 
of the manor. There was little privacy for him and his 
family. There might be a sort of raised platform at one end 
of the hall, and behind it a private apartment in which the 
members of the family kept their clothing in rude chests. 
On that platform and in that room the big man, his wife, 
and children slept not in bedsteads, but in primitive 
arrangements not unlike troughs of wood. For all else and 
for them, too, as regards meals the hall itself was dining- 
room, drawing-room, bedroom. In its centre a slab of stone 
served for fireplace ; over its floor straw or rushes was 
strewn. There was no chimney ; the smoke went out of an 
opening in the roof, helped by the draughts, of which there 
were plenty. To keep them off the better part of the hall, 
curtains of tapestry were used ; with tapestry, too, the dais 
was ornamented : as for the rest of the place, it was usually 
whitewashed. Attached to the hall was a kitchen ; the 
boiled and baked meats roasting had not come into fashion, 
except amongst epicures were carried straight from it to 
the common table, at which everybody present sat accord- 
ing to his rank. They were all there, from the master to the 
pigherd, and they breakfasted at five, dined at nine, and 
supped at six. And where they ate, there they slept ; and 
there was, no doubt, keen competition in winter to get near 
the fire. 

This was the great house of the place ; it was poor enough, 
but the houses of even the better-class folk, corresponding 
to the tenant farmers of to-day, were infinitely poorer in 
point of comfort ; they were, indeed, not comparable to the 
cabins which one may see in Galway or Connemara. Built 


of wood or of wattle, over which mud had been daubed, 
they were thatched with straw, and the eaves were not a 
man's height from the ground. The windows were mere 
slits, with shutters, and were sometimes not always 
furnished with a screen of cloth. There was but one room : 
one end of it sheltered the pigs, the fowls, and the cattle ; 
they were shut off from the family by low hurdles. Here, 
as in the manor-house, the fire was made on a stone laid on 
the floor, and the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof ; 
here, too, the floor-covering was rushes or dried grass, and 
as this was seldom changed its condition was usually filthy. 
But poor accommodation as this was, it was much superior 
to that found in the cots of the lower class. These cots were 
mere mud-huts, roofed in with turf. In them, and in the 
better houses, there was little in the way of furniture ; the 
manor-house itself could show little in that way. There 
were no fixed tables ; a trestle-board was a luxury ; there 
were no chairs ; in the manor-house, folk sat on rough 
benches ; in the better-class houses, on rudely-fashioned 
stools ; in the cots, on stones or billets of wood. All alike 
were badly off for the ordinary articles of domestic use. A 
few pans, wooden bowls, horn spoons, home-made baskets 
and brooms these were considered sufficient equipment for 
house-keeping. But every man had his knife as for the 
women and children, they tore their food with their fingers. 
In the matter of food they were not at all badly off. They 
made white bread ; they made another bread of a mixture 
of barley and rye, with a little wheat flour added. They had 
plenty of vegetables : outside every house and every cot 
was an enclosure in which they grew cabbages, onions, beans, 
peas, leeks ; they had orchards in which they cultivated 
apples, pears, cherries, plums. There was always plenty of 
bacon, and a sufficiency of beef ; they boiled both, and from 
Martinmas to near Easter their meat was salt. One does 
not hear that they ate mutton sheep were not as common 


as oxen, in this district at any rate but they doubtless 
killed and ate their geese, their ducks, and their poultry. 
They kept bees there were always bees outside every house 
and cottage and they used the honey in the same fashion 
in which we use sugar, and also made mead from it. They 
brewed a sort of ale from barley, but without using hops ; 
if any wine was drunk, it was at the top end of the table 
at the manor-house. 

Poor as the furnishing of these thirteenth-century houses 
was, there were three objects always found in each a 
distaff, a spindle, and a loom. For these people did their 
own spinning and weaving, and they made their own 
clothes. They were all dressed very much alike. The men 
wore tunics or smocks, fashioned simply of coarse linen and 
girdled at the waist by a cincture of cloth, a length of rope, 
or a strip of leather ; beneath this were hosen or tight-fitting 
breeches which came down nearly to the ankle. The women 
wore a closely-fitting undergarment with long sleeves, and 
a loose short-sleeved gown above it ; men and women alike 
usually went barefoot. They went barehead, too ; head- 
gear was only for the fine folk. 

Like their Celtic forerunners, like the Irish peasantry of 
to-day, these people lived almost entirely out of doors. The 
men were all day on the land ; the women did what work 
they had to do at the open door ; the children played about 
the gardens and the village green. Life was not as dull for 
any of them as it may seem to us that it would be. They 
had their amusements ; they were chiefly associated with 
labour and with religion. They already kept the village 
feast ; the end of harvest ; the end of seed-time ; the 
completion of some special work all these gave occasion 
for merry-makings of the old English sort, when games 
which no Norman incursion could destroy were revived with 
vigour. But it was primarily to the Church that they 
turned for rest and recreation. The Church, ever the poor 

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lili! -. 

v i ** v v r ( i 

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l\ llfl ,j? ^ 


man's guardian, gave them the Sunday rest, the relief of her 
holy days, Christmas, Easter, the festival of the patron 
saint, the observance of all the greater festivals these were 
blessings to folk whose lives were otherwise cast to hard and 
unremitting labour. And in the general discomfort of their 
poor surroundings, there was one place in the village which 
these mediaeval folk turned to with a sure instinct the 
church itself. Its door was ever open : its priest, little 
better off in this world's goods than themselves, was always 
at their service. If we could betake ourselves to the Dar- 
rington of that day we should find these rude and unlettered 
ancestors full of devotion to their Church and their faith, 
making their religion a part of their daily lives, letting no 
day pass without a visit to what they knew, with no doubting, 
to be a sure source of comfort. 


OF the Fitz William ownership of the Manor of 
Darrington we know very little scarcely more 
than that the place was in the possession of a 
branch of this famous family from about 1400 to 
1520. The records of their tenure are very few. The Sir 
William Fitz William who came into possession by virtue 
of his descent from Albreda de Lacy, about the end of the 
fourteenth century, was a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre 
and a scion of the great house which came into England with 
William the Conqueror from Normandy and was probably 
allied by blood with him ; settled in Yorkshire at Sprot- 
borough, on the Don; eventually became allied with the 
family of Wentworth ; and are now represented by the 
present Earl Fitzwilliam. Of the various Fitz Williams who 
held Darrington for a hundred-and-twenty years' history 
tells us nothing. Doubtless they made some improvement 
in the conditions of village life. They may have begun the 
building of a new manor-house on the site of the present Hall. 
But we hear nothing of them until March 1516-17, when 
another William Fitz William, of Sprotborough, made his 
will, which was duly proved in April, 1518. He was the last 
male of the elder branch, and the person to whom Darrington 
passed by the provision of his will (a curious document in 
which there appears to have been something very like a 
cunning evasion of the then law affecting the devising of 
property) was one Elizabeth Soothill, the daughter of 



William Fitz William's uncle-by-marriage, Thomas Soothill. 
This Elizabeth in due course married Sir Henry Savile of 
Thornhill, who in his time was Steward of the Honour of 
Pontefract, Steward of the Manor of Wakefield, and Sheriff 
of Yorkshire. Thus Darrington came into the hands of a 
branch of the famous and in many ways remarkable house of 

We know somewhat more of the ownership of the Manor 
of Stapleton during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
than we do of Darrington under the Fitz Williams. It is not 
much more, but it is more, and what there is of it affects 
Darrington more than Stapleton. In Darrington Church, 
at the east end of the south aisle, there lies the stone effigy 
of a meek lady ; in a niche between the chancel and the 
Lady Chapel is the effigy of a knight. These are undoubtedly 
the effigies of Clara de Stapleton, last of the descendants of 
that Gilbert who leased the manor from the de Lacys, and 
of her husband, Warren de Scar gill. Who Warren de 
Scargill was, beyond being the husband of the Stapleton 
heiress, is not known he appears to have come into these 
parts from the North. But by this marriage he acquired 
the Stapleton estates, and they remained in possession of his 
family until about the end of the reign of Henry VII. There 
is small record of any Scargill except Warren. But Warren 
de Scargill and Clara his wife left their mark on Darrington 
Church. There is some evidence that they rebuilt it they 
probably added to and restored the fabric already renovated 
by Henry de Lacy. They furnished the tower with three 
bells : one of them, dedicated to St. Michael, still remains. 
And on the north side of the chancel they built the chantry 
which has been known by various names the Stapleton 
Chapel, the Scargill Chantry, the Lady Chapel. Some 
archaeologists think that they also built the north aisle of the 
church, and the curious gallery which terminates its east end. 
As to the original dedication of this chantry, there are 


certain discrepancies in such records as we have. In a 
charter of St. John the Evangelist of Pontefract, preserved 
at Woolley Park, it is stated that Thurstan, Archbishop of 
York, dedicated the Chapel of Stapleton in honour of the 
Lord Saviour and of St. John the Baptist. To what chapel 
does this refer ? For Thurstan, Archbishop of York, a 
Norman and a native of Bayeux, who on his election to the 
northern archdiocese in 1114 refused to acknowledge the 
supremacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, would not be 
consecrated by him, and was eventually consecrated by 
Pope Calixtus II in Rheims Cathedral five years after his 
election, died in 1140, having in his last years attained con- 
siderable notoriety by his stout defence of the privileges of 
his Archiepiscopal See and his aiding and abetting of the 
monks of St. Mary's Abbey at York, who, under his protec- 
tion, seceded from that house, and founded the Cistercian 
house of Fountains. Whatever church or chapel was 
consecrated, then, by Thurstan, must, naturally, have been 
consecrated before 1140. But there is extant a will, made 
by one Thomas Mansell of Cridling, in the parish of Dar- 
rington, in the year 1396, two hundred and fifty years after 
the death of Archbishop Thurstan, in which the testator, 
after the customary pious expression, leaves his body to be 
buried in the new Chappell of St. Mary Virgin, within the 
Church of All Saints' of Darrington or, as it is spelled in the 
will, Darthington. How could that be a new chapel which 
was consecrated by Thurstan somewhere before 1140 ? 
The probability is that what the Woolley Charter refers to is 
a chapel which, about the beginning of the twelfth century, 
when the descendants of Hugh de Stapleton held Stapleton, 
was built at Stapleton itself, possibly on the site of another, 
a subsequent chapel of which we shall hear more later on, 
and of which there is no other record than this in this old 
deed of St. John the Evangelist of Pontefract. The chantry 
chapel at Darrington, in which the organ is now placed or 


rather, misplaced was without doubt built by Warren de 
Scargill and Clara de Stapleton his wife towards the middle 
of the thirteenth century, and is the new chapel referred to 
by Thomas Mansell in his will. There is no doubt either 
that it was dedicated to Our Lady. Mansell refers to it as 
the Chapel of St. Mary Virgin. In 1505 one John Twistleton 
of Darrington, left his body to be buried in St. Mary Quire, 
on the north side of the parish church. Sixty years later, 
one William Scargill of Cridling gave direction by will that 
his body was to be buried in the Lady Quere of Darrington 
Church. All this would seem to show that the chapel which 
Archbishop Thurstan dedicated at some time of his epis- 
copate was not the Lady Chapel which the Scargills built 
on the north side of Darrington Church, but one at Stapleton 
itself, long before any Scargill came there. All record of 
any such chapel is gone but the Lady Chapel of Darrington 
will be a memorial of Warren de Scargill and his wife Clara 
for many generations yet to come. 



ONE feature of Darrington village life during the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries must not 
escape notice if we wish to know what manner of 
life our forefathers lived. Lying as it does within 
three miles of Pontefract at that period the second largest 
town in Yorkshire, and one of great importance Darrington, 
in common with its neighbouring villages, must often have 
been visited by the Friars. Pontefract, at any time from 
the days of Henry de Lacy until the time of the Reformation, 
was not only a great commercial and military centre, but 
one of much religious activity. There were four religious 
houses in the town, and four religious hospitals. Henry de 
Lacy founded a Cluniac Priory there in his day ; Edmund 
de Lacy, a successor, established there, at the junction of 
the roads leading into Pontefract, one from Ackworth, the 
other from Darrington, a house and church for the Order of 
Friar Preachers (Dominicans), commonly known as Black 
Friars from the colour of their habits. He laid the founda- 
tion-stone himself, in honour of Our Lady, of St. Dominic, 
and of St. Richard of Wyche, his own old tutor, himself a 
Dominican, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1244 to 1253. 
And there, too, was a house of Carmelites (White Friars) 
and another of Franciscans (Grey Friars), and with the last 
Darrington folk of that time were, without doubt, as familiar 
as the people of our modern slums are with the street- 
preachers of the Salvation Army. 



The Franciscans (Fratres Minor es The Lesser Brethren), 
founded by St. Francis of Assisi early in the thirteenth 
century, came to England in 1224 and spread gradually 
over the country. Ultimately they were divided into seven 
Wardenships at London, Cambridge, Bristol, Oxford, 
Newcastle, Worcester, and York : the house at Pont efr act, 
of course, was under the York custody. Their habit was a 
coarse brown cloth gown, with a pointed hood and a short 
cloak : the gown was girded with a knotted cord ; always 
they went barefoot. What their special work was, let 
Dr. Jessopp tell us : " The Friar was an itinerant Evangelist, 
always on the move. He was a preacher of righteous- 
ness. He lifted up his voice against sin and wrong. ' Save 
yourselves from this untoward generation ! ' he cried. 
' Save yourselves from the wrath to come ! ' Without the 
loss of a day, the new apostles of poverty, of pity, of an all- 
embracing love, went forth by two and two to build up the 
Church of God. Theology they were sublimely ignorant of. 
Except that they were masters of every phrase and word 
in the Gospels, their stock-in-trade was scarcely more than 
that of an average candidate for Anglican orders ; but to 
each and all of them Christ was simply everything. If ever 
men have preached Christ these men did Christ, nothing 
but Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, 
the beginning and the end. They had no system, they had 
no views, they combated no opinions, they took no side. 
Let the dialecticians dispute about this nice distinction or 
that. There could be no doubt that Christ had died and 
risen, and was alive for evermore. There was no place for 
controversy or opinions when here was a mere simple, indis- 
putable, but most awful fact. Did you want to wrangle 
about the aspect of the fact, the evidence, the what-not ? 
St. Francis had no mission to argue with you. ' The pearl 
of great price ' will you have it, or not ? Whether or not, 
there are millions sighing for it, crying for it, dying for it. 


To the poor, at any rate, the Gospel shall be preached now 
as of old." (Jessop : The Coming of the Friars) 

It needs little exercise of the imagination to conjure up a 
scene which must needs have taken place many a time in 
those days on a spring or summer evening on the bit of 
common land which lay in the centre of Darrington. The 
day's work is over, the folk are resting after their labour, 
the children are playing about the green or round the 
enclosures of the poor huts. The cry goes up that the Friars 
are coming ! the folk run together here the Friars are. 
There is not much to see in them two men in much worn 
and stained brown habits, barefoot, barehead, laughing and 
jesting with the people as they make their way through them, 
but intent all the same on their message. They want no 
pulpit a mound of earth, the top of a wall, a heap of stones, 
the edge of a well, anything will do. One of them begins his 
preaching straight off plain homely talk in the language of 
the people, pointed with stories which his hearers will under- 
stand, stories that sometimes provoke loud laughter but 
talk and story are full of burning enthusiasm, of zeal, of 
earnestness, all tending to the one ideal of the Franciscan 
" Christ the Crucified ! Whose we are and Whose you are ! " 
The big folk come out of the manor-house and listen ; the 
vicar comes out of his vicarage to impart his blessing and 
give his countenance ; old and young listen with interest 
and eagerness. And when one friar has done, the other 
begins and neither speaks at any great length. Short, 
sharp, forcible only let the true message be given, the real 
truth driven home straight to the heart. For the Fran- 
ciscan had work to do when the preaching work was done. 
The message is delivered to the souls now for the bodies ! 
Are there any sick in the place ? take us to them ! No 
great medical skill goes with the brown habit and the bare 
feet, but every Franciscan friar has a knowledge of simples 
and home-made ointments, and can bind and dress a wound. 


Doctors of the soul, they were often the only physicians of 
the body which the poor of their time ever knew. And so 
in and out of the smoke-obscured huts they go, the vicar 
with them, the folk following, and sores are dressed, and 
primitive medicines given, and if nothing else can be 
bestowed, they have an immense reserve stock of sympathy 
and brotherliness. When all is done, there is no lingering. 
As they come swiftly, so they go swiftly ; they give all and 
ask nothing. What could men who had renounced every- 
thing do with anything beyond a mouthful of food and a cup 
of drink ? Men of all sorts became Franciscans and when 
they took the brown habit they gave up all, not merely lands 
and money, but learning itself, for in the mind of St. Francis 
there was but one learning, even as there was but one 
treasure. " Hardest of all," says Dr. Jessopp, " (was) what 
to do with the earnest, highly-trained, and sometimes 
erudite convert who could not divest himself of the treasures 
of learning which he had amassed ' Must I part with my 
books ? ' said the scholar, with a sinking heart. ' Carry 
nothing with you for your journey ! ' was the inexorable 
answer. ' Not a Breviary ? not even the Psalms of David ? ' 
' Get them into your heart of hearts, and provide yourself 
with a treasure in the heavens. Who ever heard of Christ 
reading books, save when He opened the book in the 
synagogue, and then closed it and went forth to teach the 
world for ever ? ' (Jessop : The Coming of the Friars.) 


JUST as the researches and investigations of historians 
and archaeologists have enabled us to know the condi- 
tions under which our forefathers lived in the thir- 
teenth and fourteenth centuries, so recent delving 
into the records of the past enables us to form a very 
accurate idea of what life was in a village like Darrington at 
the beginning of the sixteenth century an important period, 
when England was about to witness the most radical change 
which has ever come to it during the whole of its history. 

Conditions had changed. The village had altered in 
appearance. The houses and cots had, as it were, strayed 
away from the centre of things there were by that time 
dwellings of both sorts along the main street towards the 
west. Many of the miserable mud, straw- thatched cabins 
had gone ; many of the only less miserable houses of the 
better-class folk had gone with them. In their place had 
arisen houses and cottages of the early Tudor style stone 
houses, strengthened by baulks of timber, and roofed with 
stone in the more pretentious ones, though thatch was still 
in use and continued to be used for another two hundred 
years. The folk were, indeed, better off. Labour had 
begun, in a very primitive fashion, to assert some of its 
rights, and the people consequently knew more of civiliza- 
tion, and had definite tendencies towards an increased 
standard of personal comfort. The various risings of 
labourers during the preceding century had exercised some 



effect, and though the ideas of John Ball were a long, long 
way from being realized, the tiller of the soil had won some 
recognition from his superiors. We may take it that the 
folk who were living in Darrington at the beginning of the 
reign of Henry VIII were comfortably off. Food was just 
as plentiful as in past centuries. There were no paupers 
in the sense in which we know them. Such poor as there 
were, found regular and proper relief, not dispensed with the 
niggardly measures of Poor Law Guardians, but with the 
charity of religion, at the doors of the religious houses, or in 
the kitchens of the nobles and well-to-do. In certain 
respects, indeed, the agricultural labouring classes have 
never been so well off as they were on the eve of the Reform- 
ation. Froude, after giving statistics as to the price of food 
and commodities at that period, continues : " After 
making the utmost allowances for errors, we may conclude 
from such a table of prices that a penny, in terms of the 
labourer's necessities, must have been nearly equal in the 
reign of Henry VIII to the present shilling. For a penny, 
at the time of which I write, the labourer could buy as much 
bread, beef, beer, and wine he could do as much towards 
finding lodging for himself and his family as the labourer 
of the nineteenth century can for a shilling. Turning, then, 
to the table of wages, it will be easy to ascertain his position. 
By the 3rd of the 6th of Henry VIII it was enacted that . . . 
common labourers were to receive fourpence a day for half 
the year ; for the remaining half, threepence. In the harvest 
months they were allowed to work by the piece, and might 
earn considerably more ; so that, in fact (and this was the 
rate at which their wages were usually estimated), the day 
labourer, if in full employment, received on an average 
fourpence a day for the whole year. Allowing a deduction 
of one day in a fortnight for a saint's day or a holiday, he 
received, therefore, steadily and regularly, if well conducted, 
an equivalent of something near to twenty shillings a week 


. . . and this is far from being a full account of his advan- 
tages. Except in rare instances, the agricultural labourer 
held land in connection with his house, while in most 
parishes, if not in all, there were large ranges of common 
and unenclosed forest land, which furnished his fuel to him 
gratis, where pigs might range, and ducks and geese ; where, 
if he could afford a cow, he was in no danger of being unable 
to feed it ; and so important was this privilege considered, 
that when the commons began to be largely enclosed, 
parliament insisted that the working-man should not be 
without some piece of ground on which he could employ 
his own and his family's industry." 

Alongside the gradual improvement of the condition of 
the village folk had come an alteration in the housing and 
living of the people who were in authority over them. By 
the time of Henry VII we may be sure that the old manor- 
house of Darrington had disappeared, and had given place 
to newer things. A new manor-house, nothing very con- 
siderable, but vastly different to the old one, had risen from 
the ground, probably on the site of the present Hall. Instead 
of being a mere assembly room for the whole family, it 
would be a mansion, with many rooms and sleeping chambers 
and proper kitchens and offices, with a stable-yard and 
stabling, and gardens and orchards, and possibly a wall to 
enclose everything. Similarly, new arrangements were 
made about the same period for the better housing and 
accommodation of the vicar. Every visitor who takes an 
observant eye to Darrington, as it is to-day, must needs be 
struck with one feature of it which is wellnigh unique in 
England. Here the church, the churchyard, the tithe-barn, 
the vicar's dovecot, the vicarage orchard, the vicarage 
garden, the vicar's farmstead, its fold, its labourers' cot- 
tages, the vicarage itself, are all contained in one compact 
and whole plot of land, bounded in front by the village 
street, at the sides by two narrow lanes one of which is a 


direct entrance to churchyard and church and at the rear 
by a meadow, which was most probably the vicar's croft. 
It is evident that all this came by no chance happening ; it 
was of set design, and the probability is that at some period 
not very long before the Reformation possibly during the 
reign of Henry VII, when the country had become settled 
after the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses the vicars of 
Darrington, until then lodged in some small house near the 
church, were put in possession of the plot of land on which 
the manor-house of early medievalism had stood, with its 
buildings and outhouses, and that what then must have 
seemed a model ecclesiastical establishment was set up 
to the greater comfort of the clergy who enjoyed it. 

There had been vicars of Darrington, formally instituted 
to the church as a vicarage, since 1281 : we will presently 
see who they were, as far as we can, from the list of their 
names and the dates of their service. We know their names, 
at any rate ; we even know the names of one or two of the 
priests who had served the old Saxon church and the 
Norman church which had replaced it under the de Lacys. 
What manner of men were these mediaeval vicars of Dar- 
rington ? Some writers, who have no single good word to 
say of the Middle Ages and the centuries which immediately 
succeeded them, calling them indeed the Dark Ages, in spite 
of the fact that they produced some of the best of our 
English achievement in literature, in craft, and notably in 
architecture, would tell us that they were rude, unlettered, 
superstitious, fit only to mumble dog-Latin which they did 
not understand, and very little above the intellectual level 
of the peasants amongst whom they laboured. That may 
be dismissed at once as a farrago of nonsense. The re- 
searches of the modern school of historians have proved to 
us of this generation that the village priest of the pre- 
Reformation period was quite as well fitted for his duties as 
any clergyman who came after that period. But in one 


respect there was indeed little difference between him and 
the village folk to whom he ministered : he was little better 
off in the goods of this world than they were. An Act of 
Parliament (the 2nd of the 2nd) of the time of Henry V 
(1413-1422) fixed what it called the wages of the parish 
priest at 5 6s. 8d. a year, except in certain instances, 
where, by special permission of the diocesan, the amount 
might be increased to 6. This, roughly speaking, is 
equivalent to about 60 to 70 of our money ; the pre- 
Reformation priest, therefore, was but a few shillings a week 
better off than the labourer. But he had no wife to keep, 
and no children to educate, and we may accordingly look 
upon him as being in at any rate comfortable circumstances, 
with his garden, his orchard, and, as in this case, his farm. 
He was the sort of half-way man between the lord of the 
manor and the manor's men, but his work in those days was 
purely ecclesiastical, and was done mainly about his church. 
We cannot tell with precision what a pre-Reformation 
vicar of Darrington actually had in his vicarage, but we can 
form a very good notion of his possessions from hearing 
what another vicar had who was similarly situated. In the 
Rolls House, where so many records of our past life as a 
people have been brought to light of late years, where so 
many more are still awaiting examination, there is an in- 
ventory of the goods and chattels of one Richard Master, 
clerk, who was rector or vicar of Aldington, in Kent, in the 
first part of the reign of Henry VIII. It affords us an 
interesting insight into a country clergyman's belongings in 
those days ; it also gives us an idea of the size and arrange- 
ment of a country parsonage. There was in this particular 
one a hall, a parlour, a chamber opening out of the parlour, 
a chamber over the parlour, the parson's bedchamber, the 
parson's lodging-chamber, a study, four other chambers, 
a butlery and a kitchen : there was also larder, mill-house, 
boulting-house, garden-house. Quite a large establish- 


ment and when we read of what was in it, we see that we 
have progressed a long way from the days when even the 
great man of the manor-house had not even a proper table, 
nor a decent chair, and probably slept on the floor, wrapped 
up in a skin. This good parson of Aldington was well- 
furnished. He possessed twelve silver spoons. He could show 
chairs, tables, cushions, hangings, bedsteads, feather-beds, 
pewter, earthenware, painted cloths, linen, glass, kitchen 
utensils, presses. He was master of much good clothing a 
gown of violet cloth, lined with red ; a gown of black cloth, 
furred with lamb ; another of violet, lined with green 
sarcenet ; a jerkyn of tawny camlet and much more. He 
had good store of provender and meat ; he had a fine lot of 
poultry, a fair number of cattle. His stable, however, was 
not anything very grand, for his gelding was lame of spavins, 
and his grey mare was very old. But he had thirty quarters 
of wheat and five of barley in his barn, and in the chamber 
behind the chimney he had a rat-trap. As for his more 
intellectual possessions, he owned two painted pictures and 
a hanging on which was pinned another picture (so-called) 
which gave the names of all the kings of England : he also 
had books. When we hear it said that the pre-Reformation 
clergy were unlearned, ignorant men (which would seem 
strange, in any case, seeing that they were nearly all gradu- 
ates of one or other University), and that they never read 
anything but their breviaries, and when we consider further 
that this Richard Master, parson of Aldington, was merely a 
typical priest of his day, it is interesting to hear that he 
possessed one hundred and thirteen separate volumes. But 
it is much more interesting to know that out of these, 
forty- two volumes were in Greek a language which, 
according to the detractors, no pre-Reformation parson 
could read. 


A THOUGH the names of Henry de Lacy and 
Warren de Scargill must always be kept in 
remembrance as those of liberal and generous 
benefactors to the church of Darrington, we must 
remember that it, like the great majority of the parish 
churches of the mediaeval ages, did not owe its origin nor its 
preservation to them nor to any individual person. Two 
great mistakes are still constantly made about the building 
of our parish churches. One is that they were built by the 
monastic orders. The monastic orders, broadly speaking, 
never built a parish church in this country. Another is, 
that the squires built them. In those ages there were no 
squires. Who, then, did build the parish churches of 
England, who kept them up, who preserved the fabric, 
who made all the various additions to them outside the 
occasional gifts of a private chantry, such as that of the 
Lady Chapel at Darrington, given by Warren and Clara de 
Scargill who furnished them, who made them what they 
were before the Reformation, the most completely equipped, 
most beautiful churches in Europe ? Let Dr. Jessopp, 
scholar, historian, antiquary, distinguished clergyman of the 
Church of England, tell us : " The parishes built the 
churches, and the parishes in all cases kept them in repair. 
In the fourteenth century it was far, far more rare for a 
church to be built by some rich man than it is now, just 
because the number of rich men in the country was in- 





comparably fewer than their number is to-day. But as to 
keeping the churches in repair, the parish had no choice 
in the matter. The bishops and archdeacons were always 
looking after the parishioners. The episcopal registers are 
full of instances of churches that are ordered to be enlarged, 
re-roofed, re-glazed, re-built, after a fire or after being struck 
by lightning. . . . When a man first comes to look into the 
injunctions laid upon all sorts of poor little places to build, 
to alter, to make additions to the churches, which are to be 
found in the bishop's register, his hair almost stands on end. 
He is tempted to exclaim, ' The people couldn't do it ! Why, 
a seven-shilling rate in the pound for three years would not 
pay for it ! They couldn't do it ! ' By and by he is 
compelled to exclaim again, ' They couldn't do it but they 
did it, for all that ! ' And when they had done it built 
their church, added a tower, then a spire, then an aisle, then 
a side-chapel or two then they became so proud of their 
own achievements and were so delighted with their churches 
that they made up their minds to get all they could out of 
their churches. And thus it came to pass that all that was 
joyous and gay in their lives, all that was beautiful and en- 
nobling, all that was happy in their recollection, all that was 
best in what they imagined, all that was elevating in their 
dreams and their hopes and their aspirations all came to 
them from the influence which their churches exercised 
upon them. ... All the tendency of the feudal system, 
working through the machinery of the manorial courts, 
was to keep the people down. All the tendency of the 
parochial system, working through the parish council, 
holding its assemblies in the churches, where the people met 
on equal terms as children and servants of the living God 
and members of one body in Christ Jesus, was to lift the 
people up. ... In proportion as the people realised that 
their churches were, somehow or other and, of course, 
they realised it only very, very slowly and very gradually 


the very bulwarks of their liberty, and that, however much 
they might be in bondage to the lords of the manors, as 
parishioners, at any rate, they were free men and free 
women, in that proportion did they love their churches : 
there, at any rate, their rights were inviolable. . . . But, 
granted that the people in the villages found the money and 
the materials for the fabrics, who carried out the work, 
made the plans, and executed them ? Who were the actual 
builders ? . . . The evidence is abundant and positive, and 
is increasing upon us year by year, that the work done upon 
the fabrics of our churches, and the other work done in the 
beautifying of the interior of our churches, such as the wood- 
carving of our screens, the painting of the lovely figures in 
the panels of those screens, the embroidery of the banners 
and vestments, the frescoes on the walls, the engraving of 
the monumental crosses, the stained glass in the windows, 
and all that vast aggregate of artistic achievements which 
existed in immense profusion in our village churches till the 
frightful spoliation of those churches in the sixteenth century 
stripped them bare all this was executed by local crafts- 
men. The evidence for this is accumulating upon us every 
year, as one antiquary after another succeeds in unearthing 
fragments of pre-Reformation churchwardens' accounts. 
We have actual contracts for church building and church 
repairing undertaken by village contractors. We have the 
cost of a rood-screen paid to a village carpenter, of painting 
executed by local artists. We find the names of artificers, 
described as aurijaber, or worker in gold and silver, living in a 
parish which could never have had five hundred inhabitants; 
we find the people in another place casting a new bell and 
making the mould for it themselves ; we find the blacksmith 
of another place forging the ironwork for the church door, 
or we get a payment entered for the carving of the bench- 
ends five hundred years ago, which bench-ends are to be 
seen in that church at the present moment. And we get 


fairly bewildered by the astonishing wealth of skill and 
artistic taste and aesthetic feeling which there must have 
been in this England of ours in times which, till lately, we had 
assumed to be barbaric times. Bewildered, I say, because 
we cannot understand how it all came to a dead-stop in a 
single generation, not knowing that the frightful spoliation 
of our churches and other parish buildings, and the out- 
rageous plunder of the parish gilds in the reign of Edward 
the Sixth, by the horrible band of robbers that carried on 
their detestable work, effected such a hideous obliteration, 
such a clear sweep of the previous treasures that were 
dispersed in rich profusion over the whole land, that a dull 
despair of ever replacing what had been ruthlessly pillaged 
crushed the spirit of the whole nation, and art died out in 
rural England, and King Whitewash and Queen Ugliness 
ruled supreme for centuries." (Jessop : Parish Life in 
England before the Great Pillage.) 

Now what was the church of Darrington like, in, say, the 
year of Our Lord 1530 a highly important date ? The 
present-day parishioners of Darrington possess a beautiful 
church, intelligently restored with certain notable excep- 
tions reverently kept, properly furnished ; people of no 
more than middle age know what a contrast there is between 
its present appearance and that which it presented at any 
time within their recollection up to the year 1880. But few, 
if any, of them have any idea of the contrast which can 
truthfully be drawn between the interior appearance of the 
church as it is now and as it was on the eve of the Reforma- 
tion, before the hand of the spoiler fell upon it, destroying 
and ravishing the pious labours of the folk who had made it 
beautiful. Let it be remembered, in this connection, that 
those pious labours had long had the sanction of the law. 
By the Statute of Archbishop Peckham, which was made in 
1280 and remained in force until the time of Henry VIII, 
the parishioners were bound to provide all necessaries for 


the services of the church : a brief of Archbishop Win- 
chelsey, issued in 1305, tells us what those necessaries were. 
" We will and ordain," it says, " that the parishioners be 
bound to provide all the following : Legend, Antiphonal, 
Grayle, Psalter, Tropary, Ordinale, Missal, Manual, Chalice, 
the best Vestment with Chasuble, Dalmatic, and Tunicle, 
and a Cope for the choir (offices) with all their belongings 
(amice, girdle, maniple, stole), the frontal for the High Altar, 
with three cloths ; three surplices ; a rochet ; the pro- 
cessional cross ; a cross to carry to the sick ; a thurible ; a 
lantern ; a bell to ring when the Body of Christ is carried 
to the sick ; a pyx of ivory or silver for the Body of Christ ; 
the Lenten veil ; the Rogation Day banner ; the bells with 
their cords ; a. bier to carry the dead upon ; the Holy Water 
vat ; the osculatorium for the Pax ; the paschal candle- 
stick ; a font with its lock and key ; the images in the 
church ; the image of the patron Saint in the chancel ; the 
enclosure wall of the cemetery ; all repairs of the nave of the 
church, interior and exterior : repairs also in regard to the 
images of the crucifix and of the saints and to the glazed 
windows ; all repairs of books and vestments, when neces- 
sary. All other matters of the chancel and things not of 
special agreement, appertain to the rector or vicar and must 
be done at his expense." This is instructive and significant 
for a certain reason we now know that many of these 
furnishings of the parish church were made, actually made, 
by the parishioners within the parish. The vestments were 
often made by the women ; certainly the women kept them 
in repair with their needles. The images were made by the 
village woodcarver, often by the village carpenter. As to 
the repair of the office-books, this was done by skilled 
workers who went from place to place : the sacramental 
vessels were, of course, obtained from craftsmen who worked 
in gold and silver, though there was very often such a 
craftsman aurifaber in out-of-the-way parishes where we 


should certainly not find one nowadays. So far as in them 
lay, the parishioners furnished their church, beautified it, 
equipped it, with their own hands. 

Let us in imagination step into Darrington Church as it 
presented itself to its people at the time of which we are 
speaking. It is easy to enter the church, being the home 
of its people, is always open to them. Here, at the west 
entrance, is the Font. In accordance with the ancient 
constitution of the church, it is of stone, and except when 
it is being used for the administration of the sacrament, it 
must always be covered ; it is, therefore, under lock and key. 
It is of great antiquity : it was here, doubtless, long before 
the Normans came, five hundred years ago. Beyond it 
opens out the body of the church, the nave and the north 
and south aisles : the peculiar property of the people, as 
the chancel is that of the vicar. It is filled, this body, with 
open benches, made by the village carpenters ; the ends are 
beautifully carved and ornamented by handwork. On the 
walls are paintings, frescoes, depicting well-known scenes 
from Old and New Testament history : the windows are 
filled with beautiful stained glass. Some of these windows 
are, like the mural paintings, given up to scriptural subjects ; 
some depict the lives of the Saints ; a local saint, St. Wilfrid, 
or St. Paulinus, or St. Robert, is sure to be amongst them. 
Here and there, amongst the wall paintings, are memorials 
and monuments, with not a few brasses, all scrupulously 
kept bright and clean. At the end of the south aisle is a 
side-altar ; between it and the southern corner of the 
chancel is the pulpit. It is a plain structure of wood, made, 
like the benches, by the village carpenter. From the angle 
of the chancel arch just behind it, to the corresponding 
angle across the nave, stretches the rood-screen ; that, too, 
has been made by the parishioners, and ornamented by 
them. In its centre, over the door or gate which gives 
access to the chancel, is a great crucifix ; on one side of it is 


a figure of Our Lady, on the other, one of St. John : on either 
side of this group are set two candlesticks with lights. 
Within the chancel there are plain benches set against the 
walls, one on each side, with a stall, facing the altar, for the 
minister at the choir services ; on the floor, between then- 
benches, are the slabs, with their crosses, of folk who 
obtained burial before the high altar. The high altar itself 
stands a little away from the east wall of the chancel : over 
it is a canopy, supported by pillars. Beneath this canopy 
is the pyx, a vessel of silver and of ivory, in which is reserved 
the Blessed Sacrament. It is covered by a veil of the richest 
silk which the parishioners can afford ; in front of it is 
suspended a lamp, the light of which is always burning. 
The frontal of the altar is of silk, too ; on the altar itself are 
set two massive candlesticks with lights : between them is 
the crucifix. There are more silk hangings on either side of 
the altar and its canopy ; on the south side of the chancel, 
in close proximity to it, are the seats for the ministers at the 
altar, the niches in which the sacramental vessels are placed, 
and the piscina, into which the water used in the ceremonial 
washing of the celebrant's hands is poured away. Below 
the lowest of the steps leading to the high altar is the 
entrance from the church to the Lady Chapel ; there is 
another entrance from the north aisle, beneath the stone 
gallery-screen which stretches from the meeting of nave and 
chancel to the outer turret. In the Lady Chapel is another 
altar ; there, too, on either side of the flooring before it, are 
the effigies of Warren de Scargill and Clara de Stapleton. 
Its windows, like those of the church, are filled with painted 
or stained glass some of that glass, after various experi- 
ences at the hands of vandals and ignorant folk, has happily 
been recovered, and is in the church to-day. There, too, 
are other memorials of the Scargill family to us of this 
twentieth century they are lost. 

So much for the interior of the church as it was in the year 


1530 ; its exterior and surroundings were just as reverently 
kept. Near the base of the tower stood a great cross 
probably in close proximity to the old sundial which is still 
there, unless, indeed, the pillar which supports that sundial 
is part of the original shafting of the cross. And in those 
days all about the churchyard stood trees and those trees 
may have been at Darrington, as they often were in other 
parishes in England, a fruitful cause of dispute between the 
vicar and his parishioners, for they were sometimes cut 
down, and sometimes blown down, and there are cases to be 
cited in which parson and people quarrelled over their owner- 
ship. Upon churchyard and green graves and ancient trees 
the church itself, old even in 1530, looked down in silent 
impressiveness. Over its high roof hung then the Sanctus 
bell in its cot a reminder to those who were not at church 
that the Holy Sacrifice was then being offered for them. 
But in those days it was a rare thing for any man, woman, 
or child not to be at church, for to these pre-Reformation 
forefathers of ours their religion was a living and vital reality, 
and the chief factor of their daily life. 



Y ""^HE series of extraordinary changes economic, 

social, and political rather than religious which 
we have long called by the one comprehensive 
-*" name of the Reformation, fell upon the people of 
the North of England as a sudden thunderstorm breaks on a 
clear day. Whatever might be the feeling in some parts of the 
country and it is difficult to find record of any part where 
there was such feeling there was no desire for these changes 
on the part of the men of Lincoln and York, Lancaster and 
Durham, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Northumberland. 
Yet the change came, and came with bewildering swiftness. 
In 1530 England was to the outward eye the most religious 
country in Europe by 1560 it was hard to find any visible 
evidence of religion in it. But there is no necessity to enter 
into controversial points in this place as to the why and 
wherefore of the Reformation : all that is necessary is to set 
down the plain, incontrovertible facts of its history as they 
affect the story of such a parish church as that of Dar- 
rington and the people who had made that church what it 
was before the Reformation began. 

On January 15, 1535, an Order in Council declared 
Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England, and 
thereby set aside the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman 
Pontiff. The martyrdom of the Carthusians of the London 
Charterhouse, of Cardinal Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, a 
Yorkshireman and a native of Beverley, and of Sir Thomas 



More, quickly followed : none of these men would accept 
the new-fangled doctrine that a man can be head of a 
spiritual body. In the following year came the Suppression 
of the Lesser Religious Houses, with threatenings of what 
might happen to the greater ones. Many of the smaller 
houses were in the North : the folk of the North especially 
those of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Durham rose in 
revolt, under the leadership of Robert Aske, a Yorkshireman 
of ancient family which had been settled at Aughton on the 
Derwent for many generations. This rising, known to 
history as the Pilgrimage of Grace, came to naught, crushed 
by the cunning of Henry himself, who first tricked and 
deceived its leaders with fair promises, and then sent them 
to the scaffold, the stake, and the block. In 1538 began the 
Suppression of the Greater Monasteries within two years 
it was practically completed. The lands and possessions 
of the monastic orders were seized by the Crown ; the houses 
themselves and the churches attached to them were sacked 
and dismantled ; eight thousand religious were driven out 
upon the world ; eighty thousand people, chiefly workers 
employed by them, were left penniless and without prospect. 
So far all the damage had been done to the monastic orders. 
But in 1545 the order for the destruction of the Chantries 
went forth : it included the breaking-up of the hospitals and 
free chapels. And finally, in 1552, the spoliation of the 
parish churches began. That was soon over and where 
there had been order and beauty and reverence there was 
desolation and emptiness and utter despair in the hearts 
of the folk to whom those parish churches had been the 
joy and comfort of existence. 

This wholesale pillage and destruction of the parish 
churches was the most serious feature of what we call the 
Reformation. Monasticism might revive : indeed, in plain 
fact, it has revived, and there are more monks and nuns in 
the country to-day than there were in 1538, many more. 



But nothing could restore to them the treasures of which the 
parish churches were robbed. That robbery was of such a 
nature that its consequences were irreparable. " We talk," 
says Dr. Jessopp, " with a great deal of indignation of the 
Tammany Ring. [He refers to a ring, a combination of 
notoriously unscrupulous politicians in New York.] The 
day will come when some one will write the story of two 
other rings ; the ring of the miscreants who robbed the 
monasteries in the reign of Henry the Eighth was the first ; 
but the ring of the robbers who robbed the poor and helpless 
in the reign of Edward the Sixth was ten times worse than 
the first. The Universities only just escaped the general 
confiscation : the friendly societies and benefit clubs and 
the guilds did not escape. The accumulated wealth of 
centuries, their houses and lands, their money, their vessels 
of silver and their vessels of gold, their ancient cups and 
goblets and salvers, even to their very chairs and tables, 
were all set down in inventories and catalogues, and all 
swept into the great robbers' hoard. Last, but not least, 
the immense treasures in the churches, the joy and boast of 
every man, woman, and child in England, who day by day 
and week by week assembled to worship in the old houses 
of God, which they and their fathers had built, and whose 
every vestment and chalice, and candlestick and banner, 
organs and bells, and picture and image, and altar and 
shrine, they looked upon as their own, and part of their 
birthright all these were torn away by the rudest spoilers, 
carted off, they knew not whither, with jeers and scoffs and 
ribald shoutings, while none dared raise a hand or let his 
voice be heard above the whisper of a prayer of bitter grief 
and agony." (Jessop : Parish Life in England before the 
Great Pillage.) 

It is a common mistake to suppose as so many people 
do suppose that during the reign of Mary what is called 
the Old Religion was fully re-established, that the religious 


orders returned to abbey and priory, convent and hospital, 
and that the parish churches were again put on their old 
footing. No greater mistake could be made. The religious 
orders would have had nothing but roofless cloisters and 
ruinous churches to go to ; the parish churches were sacked 
beyond repair. The best that can be said for the state of 
things between 1553 and 1558 is that they were in a com- 
plexion, varying from day to day, of strange uncertainty. 
But after the accession of Elizabeth uncertainty there was 
none. The folk of the North, always slow to give in when 
supporting what they know to be a good cause, and one 
particularly endeared to them by long association, again 
rose in revolt on behalf of the old faith. But the Rising of 
the North in Elizabeth's time was as hopeless as the Pilgrim- 
age of Grace had been in her father's. Hundreds of lay-folk 
suffered at the gallows, and " priests," says Dr. Raine, 
" were hunted down like vermin/' The prisons were full, 
and the vindictive proceedings were especially severe in the 
centre of Yorkshire ; according to the records nearly nine 
hundred adherents of the ancient religion were executed at 
Wetherby, Tadcaster, Boroughbridge, and Topcliff between 
the January and May of 1570, the year following after the 
last armed protest. And so it was all over, and the parish 
church of Darrington, like all other parish churches, was a 
changed place. There was nothing of beauty left in it. 
The three-hundred-years' epoch of irreverence and neglect 
had set in the carefully-kept House of God became a 
wilderness of dirt and desolation. Its old vicars would not 
have known it. That we may make one more small effort 
to keep their memory green, let us here set down the names 
of those pre- Reformation vicars. They were : Under the 
patronage of the Archbishop of York, by lapse, Henry de 
Stanford, instituted February 7th, 1281 ; under the patron- 
age of the Prior and Convent of Pontefract, John de Secroft, 
April 25th, 1313, and John de Wakefield, who was for some 


reason deprived of the living ; under the patronage of 
King Edward II, Roger de Corby, instituted October 22nd, 
1326 ; under the patronage of King Edward III, as holder of 
the rights of the Prior and Convent of Pontefract, John 
Tourge, instituted July 28th, 1349 ; Roger de Brotharton, 
October 29th, 1349 ; Richard Douke, December 23rd, 1369 ; 
under the patronage of the Prior and Convent of Pontefract, 
John de Pontefract, instituted May loth, 1409, and John 
Bosevyle, respecting whose vicariate no date is known ; under 
the patronage of the Dean of the Free Chapel of St. Clement in 
the Castle of Pontefract, John Coterell, instituted May 2nd, 
1420 ; John Waynflete, May ist, 1422 ; Robert Thornton, 
January 3rd, 1434 ; William Foxe, May nth, 1444 ; Thomas 
Gilberthorp, September 2nd, 1444 ; Robert Fynney, Novem- 
ber i8th, 1446 ; under the patronage of Richard Shirwood, 
gentleman, Robert Taylor, instituted November 6th, 1464, 
to whom succeeded Robert Gill, concerning whom no date 
is given ; under the patronage of the Prior and Convent 
of Pontefract, William Harrington, instituted March 25th, 
1496 ; Thomas Hampton, June I4th, 1504 ; Richard 
Newyth, May I4th, 1505 ; Anthony Frobyssher, June 9th, 
1537. Of these pre-Reformation clerics there are no 
memorials or tombs left in the church which they served. 



ONE of the last of the pre-Reformation burials in 
Darrington Church was that of Dionise or Dennis 
Austwick, a member of a Pontefract family which 
appears to have had some intimate connection 
with Darrington, possibly by ownership of some small 
parcel of land or by tenancy. The Austwicks were people 
of considerable importance in Pontefract from about the 
middle of the fifteenth to the end of the seventeenth century. 
They were of the trading class dyers, tanners, mercers, 
grocers. During their long connection with the town they 
furnished it with no less than twelve mayors. One of the 
last of their family (which became extinct with Richard 
Austwick, grocer and gentleman, so far as the male side 
went, in 1698) was Alderman Thomas Austwick, twice 
Mayor of Pontefract, who was one of the eleven Pontefract 
Royalist Aldermen who joined the Cavalier garrison in the 
Castle in 1644, and went through the privations of the 
first siege. 

There are many wills of this family amongst the York 
Wills : the first in which reference is made to Darrington is 
that of John Austwick (there spelled Austewyk), dyer, of 
Pontefract, which was executed on June 2nd, 1482, and 
proved by Joan Austwick, widow, and Robert Austwick, 
brother, the executors, at Broderton, (Brotherton), on 
October 8th in the same year. The testator, after giving 
his soul to God Almighty, the Blessed Mary the Virgin, and 



all the Saints of God, and his body to be buried within the 
parish church of All Saints of Pontefract, left for his mor- 
tuary a horse, with a saddle and its appurtenances. He 
then settled his lands and tenements, and passed on to 
smaller bequests, amongst which is two shillings to the vicar 
of the church of Darrington for the high altar. In an 
addition to the will, which is really a codicil, he made pro- 
visions for the building of a chantry chapel within the 
parish church of Pontefract, but this instruction was never 
carried out. 

The will of Dennis Austwick, who is buried in Darrington 
Church, is interesting as being the first of the York series of 
wills to be written in English, all up to that date having been 
made in Latin. It is here given in full, and it will be seen 
that it contains two references to Darrington, and that the 
second implies that at the time it was made some work of 
restoration was going on at the church. 

" In Dei Nomine, amen, the VI th daye of Februarij in the 
yeare of our lord God m i. vc.xxxiiith. I Dionise Aust- 
wicke being feble and erased in my bodye, makes this my 
last will and testament in maner and fourme f oloyng. First 
I will and bequeathe my soule to Almightie God in heven, 
my bodie to bee buried in the Parish Kyrke of Darthington 
before the blessed roode there. Also I bequeath to my 
curate for my mortuarie according unto the Kinge's acte of 
hys Parliament. Also I bequeathe unto the Kyrke workes 
of Darthington iijs. iiijd. Also I bequeathe unto Thomas 
Austwicke, my sone, xxs., and he to claim then to have no 
more of my goodes. Also I gif unto Richard Austwicke, my 
sone, xxs. and to have no more of my goodes bicause I have 
gyven unto hymn certayne landes in being in Castleforthe, 
to hym and to his heyres lyke as appereth in one scedule 
annexed to a deade of Feoff amente maid unto Robt. Adam 
and odre moo. Item. I will that the gilde maisters of 
Corpus Cristi have vis. viijd. wiche I borrowed of theme. 


The residewe of all my goodes not before gyven I gyf theme 
frelie wtout any hurte unto their conscience to bring me 
furthe the daye of my beriall and to dispose for my saule as 
they shall thinke beste ; wiche persons I name and make 
my executours to fulfyll thys my will, that is to witte, 
John Hyrste and Eliz Hyrste, my doughter. Thyes being 
witeness of this my will and true mynde, Sir Robert Longley, 
preste ; Cristofer Bradforde, gentleman : Hughe Herryson 
and oder moo. In witnesse hereof I have sette my scale 
the daye and yeare above." 

It will be observed that there is a difference in the Mortuary 
of John Austwick in 1482 and that of Dennis Austwick 
in 1533. The mortuary was a present made at death to the 
incumbent of the parish. Legally, in the old days, it was 
the dead man's second best beast, but custom had made it 
usual for a testator to leave what he liked. This led to 
much difference of opinion, and in 1529, the mortuary, 
as it had been, was abolished by Act of Parliament, and a 
sliding scale for its future payment was instituted. If the 
value of an estate was under 6 135. 4d. nothing was to be 
paid ; if under 30, the mortuary was to be 35. 4d. ; if under 
40, 6s. 8d. ; above 40, it was to be los. No higher 
mortuary was permitted. The mortuary of Dennis Aust- 
wick in 1533 would accordingly depend on the value of his 
estate, and could in no case be equal to the worth of John's 
horse with its saddle and bridle. 



A THOUGH the ancient church of Darlington 
served as parish church to the outlying townships 
of Cridling, Stapleton, and Wentbridge, there 
appears to be no doubt that for some time 
previous to the Reformation there had been a chapel and 
chantry at Wentbridge itself. There is at any rate one 
definite reference to the existence of such a chapel. Amongst 
the religious houses suppressed between 1537 and 1540 was 
the Cluniac Priory of St. John at Pontefract, which stood 
very near the site of the present railway station at Monkhill. 
Its last Prior was one James Thwaites. He was not only 
Prior of St. John's ; he was also Dean of the chapel of 
St. Clement, in the precincts of Pontefract Castle. When 
the religious houses were dissolved, Prior Thwaites was 
allowed to retain his office of Dean, and he probably lived 
either within the Castle or in the town itself. And on the 
13 th October, 1545, he made his will, and he must have died 
soon after making it, for it was proved at York about three 
weeks later October 31. In this will James Thwaites 
makes several charitable bequests. He left sums of money 
to various churches in the neighbourhood : to Darrington 
Church he bequeathed ten shillings. Then comes the 
distinct reference to Wentbridge. " I bequeath to Sir Hugh 
Moseley, priest of Wentbridge, to sing for me a whole year 
at Wentbridge, 4. 135. 4d." Now this clearly implies 
that there was at that time at Wentbridge a chapel and a 



priest to serve it. How long such a chapel had been in 
existence there is nothing to show. But Prior Thwaites's 
bequest had small chance of being carried out. Within a 
few weeks of the making and proving of his will, the Parlia- 
ment which met on 23rd November, 1545, passed the first 
Act for the Dissolution of the Chantries, and the Wentbridge 
chapel was, no doubt, soon afterwards dismantled. It is 
supposed that it stood near the present bridge, on the south 
bank of the river, at a place still marked by some ancient 
stumps of yew, and it is a matter of local legend that there 
were forty-two yews marshalled around it, and that its 
foundations were plainly discernible within the memory of 
living man. But of it, and of Sir Hugh Mosely, its priest, 
we know no more that is certain than the will of the last 
Prior of Pontefract can tell us. 


BETWEEN the Manor of Stapleton and one of the 
leading figures of the new order of things that 
followed the general upheaval of the middle of the 
sixteenth century, a curious and interesting link 
existed for many years. The successors of Warren de 
Scargill and his wife Clara de Stapleton held Stapleton until 
the end of the fifteenth century possibly a little longer. 
How it passed away from that family is not known. There 
are few if any really definite particulars of its history 
between 1500 and 1545. But between 1545 and 1560 we 
hear of four separate persons who held property in Staple- 
ton they were Bartholomew Methley, described as a 
gentleman ; Robert Houldsworth, clerk ; John St. Paul ; 
and Robert Neweth. From Robert Neweth one William 
Scargill, most likely a descendant of the old family, bought 
a small parcel of property at Stapleton in 1560. But about 
this time another man, bearing a name very well known in 
Yorkshire at that period, comes on the scene, who began 
buying up the manor and lands of Stapleton, and had 
succeeded before the end of the century (he and his imme- 
diate successor, at any rate) in becoming possessed of the 
whole. He was a tradesman of Pontefract : his name was 
Thomas Holgate, and he was the nephew of the famous 
Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York. He was also his 
uncle's sole executor and his heir, and it was doubtless with 
the money left to him by the Archbishop that the manor 
and lands of Stapleton were purchased. 



Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York, was an interesting 
individual. During his time he played a good many parts 
on the troubled stage of those unsettled years. He was of 
no particular advantage of birth his people were probably 
farmers, or tradesfolk, at Hemsworth, where he himself was 
born. He became a monk, and when we first hear anything 
noteworthy of him he was Prior of Watton, in the East 
Riding the largest and most important of the religious 
houses which followed the rule of St. Gilbert of Sempr ing- 
ham, and at the time of the Dissolution had a very consider- 
able revenue. Afterwards he was Bishop of Llandaff. He 
took an important part in the destructive movement, and 
he became Archbishop of York. But he had been con- 
nected with York before he was called upon to rule the 
northern Archdiocese, in 1545. In 1537 the Council of the 
North was founded. It was in effect a local committee of 
the Privy Council, and its object was to superintend the 
affairs of the northern counties as regards the administration 
of justice, the collection of taxes, and the defence of the 
King's authority in what had of late been a troublesome and 
not over-amenable part of the realm. It was to take a gaol 
delivery from Hull, York, Newcastle, and Durham every 
year, but its headquarters were at the Guildhall in York, 
and to its President, for lodging, was assigned the house, 
now used as a home for the blind, which had formerly 
belonged to the Abbot of St. Mary's. The first President 
was Thomas, Duke of Norfolk ; the second, Cuthbert Tun- 
stall, Bishop of Durham ; the third was Robert Holgate. 
Soon after being transferred from Llandaff to York, Arch- 
bishop Holgate probably because he had no option in the 
matter alienated the ancient Manor of Sherburn, which 
had belonged to the Archbishop of York for many hundreds 
of years, in company with much other archiepiscopal 
property of great value, to Henry VIII, in exchange for a 
small quantity of land and a number of presentations and 


advowsons : that of Darrington, according to the 
Torre MSS., being amongst them. In 1549 Holgate did 
what no English Archbishop had ever done before he 
married Mistress Barbara Wentworth in the parish church of 
Adwick-le-Street, she at the time being betrothed to another. 
In 1554 this marriage, and his known heterodoxy, cost him 
his see. The Tudors had a short way with bishops who 
became distasteful to them, and Mary turned Holgate out 
of York just as summarily as her sister Elizabeth turned 
out his successor, Heath, who refused to crown her, and was 
otherwise obnoxious to her, some years later. But Holgate 
was permitted to spend the last years of his life in peace, 
and he used his remaining time to good purpose by founding 
a hospital for poor folk at his native village of Hemsworth, 
and in assuring the permanent good health and future 
success of the Grammar Schools which he had already 
founded at York and at Malton, and in his native village. 

There is a further incident of Archbishop Holgate's 
varied and busy life which may fitly be recorded in this place 
because it has a distinct local connection. On the 24th 
November, 1641, he, then Bishop of Llandaff and Lord 
President of the Council of the North, sat, in company with 
the Earl of Shrewsbury, Sir Marmaduke Constable, Sir 
William Copley, Sir John Wentworth, Sir Gervase Clifton, 
Thomas Fairfax, Sergeant-at-Law, and William Bapthorpe, 
Esquire, and a grand jury composed of leading gentlemen of 
Yorkshire, at Doncaster, to hear a charge of adultery brought 
against Queen Katherine Howard, who, it was alleged, had 
criminally misconducted herself with Francis Derham and 
Thomas Culpeper, Lady Rochford being a conniving party, 
at Pontefract Castle, during her residence there in the 
previous August, her husband, King Henry VIII, being at 
the time gone from Pontefract (whither he had come on the 
only visit he ever paid to Yorkshire) to stay with Sir Thomas 
Wentworth at Bretton. The charge, in the opinion of 


Holgate and his fellow- justices and the grand jury, was 
substantiated, and on the true bill which they found, and on 
another returned from a separate inquisition, the young 
queen, the two co-respondents, and the conniver, Lady 
Rochford, were duly tried, found guilty, and executed 
the two men being hanged at Tyburn, the two women be- 
headed at the Tower of London. 

Archbishop Holgate, who was born in 1500, died in 1555, 
and he left all he had save for the amount devised for his 
pious benefactions to Thomas Holgate his nephew. 
Thomas Holgate was a burgess of Pontefract, who in an 
assessment made in 1549 * s described as a mercer, which 
probably means that he was a general draper. He had 
married in 1540, Isabel, daughter and heiress of Henry 
Butler of Pontefract. On her death he married again his 
second wife was Mary, daughter of Henry Power, of North 
Dalton, in the East Riding. It seems probable that Mary 
Power brought him, either at the time of this marriage or on 
the death of her father, a good deal of money. It may have 
been her money, indeed, which added to what he got from 
the Archbishop bought the Stapleton estate, because that 
was specially devised to his and her children, to the exclusion 
of the children which he had by his marriage with Isabel 
Butler. The second wife predeceased Thomas, who there- 
upon left Stapleton, and retired to Pontefract, where he 
lived in a house in Ropergate, with his son Henry Holgate, 
who had continued his father's business in the town, and 
whom he is believed to have outlived. 

Where Thomas Holgate, nephew of the Archbishop and 
first Holgate owner of Stapleton died, and where he is buried, 
is not known. But in the chancel of Darrington Church 
there are three flat gravestones which commemorate certain 
members of his family Thomas Holgate the younger and 
Katherine his wife : two George Holgates, and two wives of 
George Holgates. There are several entries in the parish 


register relating to the baptism and burials of various 
Holgates. In the will of George Holgate, made in July, 1623, 
there is left to the Vicar of Darrington " in liewe of omitted 
tythes, if any such have beene, a piece of gold of twenty-two 
shillings valew." To his brother Francis, this George Hol- 
gate also left ten pounds towards the payment of his, 
Francis's debts, the farm which Francis had (tenanted, one 
supposes) at Stapleton, and the windmill at Darrington. 
Having no children of his own, the same George Holgate 
left to George and Thomas, his nephews, sons of the said 
Francis, the whole profits of his own (presumably the home, 
or estate) farm at Stapleton, for their education in learning 
until they attained the age of twenty-one his wife, Mary, 
to have the tuition and government of them during that 
period. Stapleton remained in the possession of the Holgate 
family until the end of the first quarter of the seventeenth 
century, when the then owner, Bartholomew Holgate, 
sold it to Sir John Savile. In addition to the three grave- 
stones in Darrington Church there is a further memorial of 
the family in the parish which may well keep their memory 
green for many a generation to come, for a slight eminence 
in the land near Darrington Leys is called Holgate Hill to 
this day. And in the Quarter Sessions Records of the West 
Riding of Yorkshire are two other memorials of a very 
different nature. At the Quarter Sessions held at Wakefield 
in January, 1641, the Justices present being Sir William 
Savile, Baronet, Sir John Ramsden, Knight, Edward Stan- 
hope, Esquire, John Kay, Esquire, Francis Nevile, Esquire, 
John Farrer, Esquire, and Thomas Thornhill, Esquire, 
Frances, wife of Thomas Holgate, gentleman, of Darrington, 
was charged with assaulting and maltreating one William 
Webster, the parish constable, and she was convicted and 
fined ten shillings a considerable sum in those days. At 
the same Quarter Sessions, one Jennett Larryman, described 
as a spinster, of Stapleton, came before the Justices and told 


them a pitiful tale. She had, she said, been settled and had 
remained in the service of Mrs. Holgate of Stapleton by the 
space of twenty-five years last past. Her employer was lately 
dead, and she, Jennett, was now aged, infirm, destitute, 
and homeless would the Justices do something for her? 
The Justices made prompt response the churchwardens 
and overseers of the parish were ordered to provide con- 
venient harbour for Jennett Larryman and to see that a 
proper allowance was made to her. These records are of 
interest to us for two reasons they show that justice was 
administered in Stuart times without fear, and with consider- 
tion for the poor : justice is done to William Webster though 
he was merely parish constable and his assailant a gentle- 
woman ; prompt relief is afforded to the destitute servant : 
they also show that although Bartholomew Holgate had 
sold the manor of Stapleton to the Saviles some time before 
1630, there were Holgates living at Stapleton and at Dar- 
rington, probably as tenants, for many years afterwards. 


ONE of the very earliest entries in the parish registers 
of Darrington a transcript of the first six books 
of which has recently been printed by the York- 
shire Parish Register Society records the baptism 
of George Holgate, son of Thomas, on January ist, 1570. 
Other entries of about the same date reveal the deeply 
interesting fact that there were then living in Darrington 
certain families whose successors have stood by the old place 
ever since. Catharine Frobisher, the daughter of Anthony, 
was baptized in April, 1570 ; Alicia Scholey was married 
to William Mawde in November, 1571 ; John Shillito 
brought his daughter Elizabeth to the font in June, 1572. 
There are or were until very recently Frobishers, Scholeys 
and Shillitos in Darrington to this day lineal descendants, 
without doubt, of the folk whose names began to be recorded 
in the latter half of the sixteenth century. 

It is a curious fact and a thousand pities that we in 
England were slow to recognize the advantages of keeping a 
systematic record of births, marriages, and deaths. Other 
older nations well knew the value of such a system. It 
was in use in ancient Greece, and in ancient Rome ; in every 
Roman province there was a public official whose duty it 
was to keep a register of names, births, and deaths. Our 
neighbours of France knew better than we did in this 
matter the French registers date from the beginning of the 
fourteenth century, and have always been so exactly and 



scrupulously kept and preserved, that it is far easier to trace 
the family history and pedigree of a French peasant for 
five hundred years than it is to make out that of an English 
peer. No provision was made for the keeping of parish 
registers in England until 1538, and the regulations then 
laid down were by no means insisted upon, for in 1562 a Bill 
came before Parliament which contained ordinances for the 
better keeping of parochial records, and made special 
reference to the church books, titles, notes, and remem- 
brances of twenty-four years last past a clear reference to 
the carelessly kept enactment of 1538. In spite of all Acts 
of Parliament, parish registers which in law are the 
property of the incumbent for the time being were, until 
comparatively recent times, very carelessly kept and looked 
after, and Burn, in his History of Parish Registers, gives 
many instances of their having been sold by rectors and 
vicars for waste-paper, and even used for such domestic 
purposes as lighting fires and singeing geese. Even nowa- 
days they are very much at the mercy of the parochial 
clergy, and the only real safeguard of them (so far as their 
relative value to the tracing of title to succession and 
property is concerned) is that all fresh entries in them are 
bound to be transcribed and forwarded to the Registrar- 
General. Many suggestions for their better guardianship 
have been made : they ought really to be kept in a fire- 
proof safe in the vestry of the church, and to that safe 
only the incumbent and one churchwarden should have 

No register was kept at Darrington until the year 1567. 
For nearly a hundred years all the entries were made in 
Latin. In the six books which have been printed by the 
Yorkshire Parish Register Society covering the period 
from 1567 to 1812 there is very little more than calendars 
of names in relation to baptisms, marriages, and funerals. 
The names of various families of note in the neighbourhood 


appear in some quantity Beales, Bolderos, Greenwoods, 
Holgates, Lees, Saviles, Sotherons but there are no parti- 
cular details of any of them. Nevertheless, from these mere 
lists of names one may gather much that is of interest in 
relation to the nomenclature of the parish between the 
sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries. When the registers 
began to be kept, the names in use in Darrington were Paget, 
Wager, Lynne, Branton, Taylor, Rothwell, Simpson, Hirst, 
Carter, Shillito, Frobisher, Scholey. The ordinary names of 
the English race are not very evident at any period. There 
are many uncommon Christian names Merista, Phalin, Ur- 
sily, Alvarey, Bathalina, Pheasy, Harrud, Clemytris, Troath, 
Meriah, Emmota, Deeperin. There are many odd surnames 
Acarland, Anger, Awtrick, Bacchas, Bangy, Barche, Biarde, 
Breiner, Cark, Castlesse, Cawapt, Cawvard, Coo, Dlouer, 
Dujon, Fallice, Grymsdyche, Hazard, Knutbrown, Last- 
lesse, Mown, Pew, Priance, Prothum, Rabot, Roasone, 
Scawbend, Scotchbour, Sharpass, Tabernacle, Thomond, 
Whipwhom, Woane. One feature of the Christian names 
of the first two or three books of the registers is their high- 
sounding quality here are few Bettys, Nancies and Debbies, 
as one might expect from a purely labouring society, but 
many Rosamonds, Isabels, Margarets, Guys, Hughs, Lionels. 
There is one Victoria she was the daughter of a Wentbridge 
innkeeper, Marshall, who flourished circa 1600 and there 
is an Elkanor, who was a black servant to Mr. Savile and 
boasted no surname at all. Here and there, at intervals 
during the three centuries, are entries recording the burials 
of folk who had no name none, at any rate, known to those 
who buried them. The entry " A poor traveller " is of 
fairly frequent occurrence : what the vicar or parish clerk 
who made these entries called a traveller we should call a 
tramp ; and the probabilities are that these unfortunates, 
there being no more religious houses to turn to for relief, 
and the obligation of charity being no more insisted upon 


since the Reformation, were picked up on the high way side, 
dead from want and privation. 

One of the most striking and significant features of our 
parish registers has to do with the Puritan period of English 
history and government. It is constantly forgotten that at 
no period of English history was there ever such ruthless 
religious persecution and intolerance as under the rule of 
Oliver Cromwell and his adherents. The Committee of 
Religion which was appointed by the Long Parliament in 
1641 began its operations by forbidding under penalty of 
heavy fine and harsh imprisonment the use of the Book 
of Common Prayer, either in public or in private ; continued 
them by setting up the Directory of Public Worship (Presby- 
terian in form) and crowned them as far as it could by 
turning bishops out of their sees and many thousand clergy 
out of their livings. During the twenty years of this period 
of fanatical intolerance the parish registers were not put to 
much use in a great many parishes the register books 
contain very few entries made between 1641 and 1662 ; in 
many they disappeared altogether. The keeping of them 
was taken out of the hands of such clergy as were left, and 
given to a lay registrar. Marriages were no longer performed 
by a clergyman but by a magistrate, after the publication of 
banns with one-and-twenty days' notice to the parish 
registrar ; as for baptisms, they were severely discouraged. 
Anyone who examines parish registers of that period will 
find that instead of the word " baptized " being used the 
word " borne " is in constant evidence up to 1662 : they 
will find, too, by a very careful comparison of dates, that in 
the years immediately following the Restoration there were 
in nearly all parishes, a large number of adult baptisms. 

The instances of this state of things in Yorkshire parishes 
are many, though Yorkshire was never at that period, 
at any rate a hotbed of Puritanism, as some of the counties 
nearer London Buckingham, for instance were. To take 


two parishes as far apart, and of as different complexions as 
regards the character of their people, as Flamborough and 
Knaresborough : From 1641 to 1653 no registers were kept 
at Flamborough. From 1641 to 1660 there is no record of 
any Vicar of Flamborough. Some time after the Restora- 
tion that is, after 1660 somebody inserted in the Flam- 
borough registers, then started again, the records of two 
baptisms which were administered in 1649 and 1652 most 
likely in private. From 1641 to 1661 all the marriages in 
this parish were celebrated by the local magistrates. In 
the register from 1653 to 1662 the word " baptized " is never 
once used. It was certainly written in the first entry, but 
the hand that wrote it crossed it out and wrote " borne " 
above it, and that word was used thenceforward. A similar 
state of things existed at Knaresborough, which, in its day, 
had been a centre of religion. " The singular mode of 
solemnizing marriages that took place during Crom well's 
usurpation," says Hargrove, in his History of Knaresborough, 
" was strictly observed here for four years, during which 
time sixty-six couples were joined together before the civil 
magistrate. The gentlemen who were applied to in this 
case, for the most part, appear to have been Thomas Stock- 
dale, Esq., of Bilton Park, or Sir Thomas Mauleverer, Bart., 
of Allerton Park, or the Mayor of Ripon. The banns were 
published on three separate days before the marriage, 
sometimes at the Market Cross, and sometimes in church." 
The following is a copy of one of the certificates : " March 30. 
1651. Marmaduke Inman, and Prudence Lowcock, both of 
the parish of Knaresborough, were this day married together 
at Ripon, having first been published three several market- 
days, in the market-place, at Knaresborough, according to 
an act of parliament, and no exceptions made. In the 
presence of Thomas Davie, and Anthony Simpson." As 
to the actual Knaresborough Register of that period parts 
of it are deliberately defaced some person at that time 


evidently of set purpose smeared quantities of ink over the 

How did Darrington fare in this respect at that period ? 
One fact is at once noticeable, on an examination of the 
register : the number of entries are not what one would 
expect them to be in a parish of that size during the period 
in question : they do not compare with the entries of any 
similar period twenty years during the three hundred 
years in which the records have been kept. Another is, 
the appearance of the word " borne " instead of " baptized." 
Clearly, the Sacrament of Baptism fell into disuse at that 
time. Yet strangely enough, or, perhaps, not strangely 
the registrar was the then vicar at any rate, from 1653. A 
" remembrance " concerning his appointment appears at the 
beginning of the Second Book of the Registers : " Be it 
remembered that Mr. Richard Woodroffe [Woodrove] of 
Darrington was by the inhabitants in that parish [Pelected] 
and made choice of for their register [registrar] and on the 
day and year above-said come before me and approued of 
and sworne accordinge to y e act of p'liam * in that case made 
and provided [? G. By an]/' Following upon this are the 
entries made by Mr. Richard Woodrove, Vicar of Darrington, 
until his death in April, 1659. The first entry (reference is 
here made to children only) is " John, the son of John 
Patrick, was baptized the 6th day of January " [1653]. The 
next is " Rich : the son of Robt. Heaton was [baptized was 
first written, then it was clearly erased and ' borne ' 
substituted] the xxiijth day of January." From that time 
onward until the end of 1658 there are about eighty records 
relating to children. In every case but one, the word used 
is " borne." The only entry of baptism is in Latin : 
" Catherina filia Thomae Holcot, cleri, baptizat fuit nono 
die Jul ij." There is a curious entry two years after Mr. 
Richard Woodrove's death. " Betterice the supposed 
daughter of Richard Woodrove was baptized June I3th 


1661." (The baptisms had begun again as soon as Wood- 
rove died.) Now Richard Woodrove himself died April 26th, 
and was buried April 28th, 1659, and his wife Dorothy had 
predeceased him, on June 23rd, 1658. Who, then, was 
Beatrice, his supposed daughter and who was her mother ? 
The register tells us nothing of this, any more than it tells 
us how Mr. Richard Woodrove found it consistent with his 
duty as Vicar of Darrington to leave eighty children un- 
baptized, as his own record shows he did. One fears that he, 
vicar though he was, was also somewhat of a time-server, 
more disposed to fall in with the Puritan views than to do 
his plain duty. 

Of the very few entries in the Darrington registers other 
than those of births, marriages, and deaths, one notes the 
fact that in 1737 only one parishioner died, and was buried 
out of it at Kellington. Also, there was only one funeral 
in the parish churchyard that year it was that of a poor 
woman from New Malton, probably a traveller. In 1776 
the vicar or, perhaps, the parish clerk was sufficiently 
struck by the occurrence to note that on Saturday the i6th 
of November Joseph Wright of this town died of a Fit of the 
Stone at the Star Inn at Pontefract, and was buryed the 
next day at five o'clock of the afternoon. There are records 
of two collections for the benefit of other parishes Mr. 
Richard Woodrove, aforesaid, enters one of them under date 
9th December, 1658. " Collected in our parish church of 
Darrington for the rebuilding of the Church Olwastrie 
[Oswestry] in the County of Salop the summe of iis. iiijd 
by us, Rich : Woodrove, minister ibide. Teste Rich : 
Warde and Hugo Aston. Churchwardens/' The other is 
entered on May 8th, 1670. " Collected in ye Church of 
Darrington for ye Inhabitence of Cottonend in ye county of 
Northampton ye summe of two shillinges nine pence and 
delivered to Michael Heaton ye constable of Darrington." 

A local instance of this system of collecting in churches 


for the benefit of other parishes, and on behalf of deserving 
cases outside the parish, is found in the West Riding Quarter 
Sessions Records. To the Justices sitting in Quarter Sessions 
at Rotherham on July i6th, 1639, came one Nicholas Martin, 
of Cridling, " a paineful and laborious man, having nothinge 
to maynetaine himselfe, his wife, and seaven poore children 
but his hard labour/' Nicholas had a sad story to tell to the 
Justices. He " goeinge to his labour early in the morninge, 
uppon 12 June last past, itt most unfortunately happened 
that a most sudden and lamentable fire happened in his 
dwellinge house, but by what meanes is unknowne, which 
verie suddenly burnte and consumed not onely the said 
dwelling-house, but also all his goodes therein, soe that 
noethinge will be saved, to the value of xxxli. and upwarde, 
to the utter ruyne of him, his wife, and children " therefore 
he craved some kind help and benefaction in his distress 
fire insurance having not then spread to the villages. And 
the Justices, having heard this sad story, did forthwith order 
that " the ministers of the severall churches and chappells 
within the Wappentackes of Strafforth and Tickhill, Stayne- 
cross, and Osgodcrosse," should publish the news of Nicholas 
Martin's misfortune to their various parishioners on some 
Lord's Day, and should collect their charitable benevolence 
for him in his present miserable and distressed estate. This, 
of course, was done in due course, but not with over- 
gratifying results. For to the Quarter Sessions held at 
Pontefract on April I4th, 1640, Nicholas Martin repaired, 
to inform the worshipful Court that things had not worked 
out as well as he could have wished, and that there had been 
but " collected and gathered in all those Wappentackes the 
summe of five pounds or thereabouts which will noe wayes 
extend to satisfie his great losse." So the Justices made a 
second order, directing the assistance of all ministers and 
.curates "within the wapentackes of Agbrigg and Morley, 
Barkston Ashe, and the burroughe of Leedes " on behalf of 


the petitioner, who thus had half the Riding busied on his 
concerns. But what the result of that second collection was 
we do not know Nicholas Martin is heard of no more. 

In July, 1671, a death took place at Darrington which, 
doubtless, excited a nine days' interest in the parish. Mr. 
Alexander Blair, a Scotsman of much commercial standing, 
was riding through the village on his way to London 
according to some accounts, to Edinburgh when he fell 
from his horse in a sudden fit of apoplexy. This was on the 
25th ; on the 28th, never having been removed from the 
house into which he was carried, he died. The terse record 
of his obsequies shows how carelessly the registers were kept 
in the matter of being particular about proper names : it is 
entered " Mr. Alexander Clare, buryed August 2." But the 
inhabitants of Darrington have never wanted knowledge 
as to the real surname of this unfortunate passer-by, for his 
widow placed in the church a monument which is still there, 
with an inscription in which she took particular pains to 
draw attention to her own grandeur : 

To the memory of that Just and Judicious Dealer, that 
piously well disposed Gentleman Mr. Alexander Blair 
of Aberdeen in Scotland Citizen and Merchant Taylor of 
London, and Merchant Factor to several parts in France 
and Scotland Who died the 28th of July 1671 in the 
5Oth year of his age, by an Apoplexy, suddenly falling from 
his horse, of which he dyed three days after, to the great 
grief of his disconsolate widdow Mrs. Isabella Bruce, 
now Blair, who hath fixed 

This Stone for his Remembrance. 

Here sleeps obscurely (till that Glorious Day 

Shall disenvelop, his Ecclipsed Clay) 

A sincere soul whom though death did divest 

Of life so soon surprised in an Arrest, 

Yet left him time to put in Bail, and by 

A three days' respite, well prepared to die 

Nor may we deem, he was with more hast hurld 

Than with Good speed from this preposterous World 


Where by his peaceful converse he did antedate 

A pre-fruition of his present State. 

For Why ? His life was one continued act 

Of kindness both in circumstance and Fact 

Whose best devotion did consist in Deeds 

Not in Gay blossomed Flowers but fruitful seeds 

Sown with a liberal hand and chearful Heart 

Seldom more prone to purchase than t' impart 

Friends, kindred, neighbours, (if decayd or poor) 

Kindly consider'd from his stock and store, 

As though those earthly Blessings which heaven sent 

Were in a literal sense, not given, but lent 

These he returned, so largely at his Death 

As if he ment to re-imburse his Breath 

And live again remembered in the Grave 

By those fair Legacies he freely Gave 

Rest then blest Blair ! Blest in thy blood and name 

Blest in thy well born Consort, and the fame 

Of Pious Deeds, Rest here, till that most Just 

Judge, shall redeem and raise thee from the dust. 

Some sixty years after the well-born widow had erected 
this pious memorial, there was another man buried in 
Darrington Church who, if not a stranger to the village, 
had no more than a friendly acquaintance with it. Under 
date August 22, 1732, is the entry " Mr. Solomon Dupeer 
of the parish of Pontefract gent." Now around Solomon 
Dupeer, or, as it should be, Dupier, hangs one of the prettiest 
of mysteries, a mystery which would have entirely rejoiced 
Robert Louis Stevenson. Early in the eighteenth century 
there came to Pontefract, then a sufficiently out-of-the-way 
town for any man to lie snug in, a gentleman who had 
certainly ample means wherewith to cultivate the leisure and 
retirement which he evidently sought. Either with him at 
his first coming, or very soon afterwards, came another 
gentleman, one Captain Lay, also evidently provided for. 
They settled down ; they lived comfortable lives ; they 
cultivated the acquaintance of the townsfolk ; they took 
at least Solomon Dupier did a great interest in Darrington, 
to which they doubtless often wandered for a quiet morning 


walk. Pontefract, ever since there is any record of it, was 
always a town for gossip and scandal : the Pontefract folk 
began to talk about these new residents possibly somebody 
heard something. But, either during their lives, or 
very soon after they were dead, a tradition, said to be 
founded on solid fact, sprang up in Pontefract about 
Captain Lay and Solomon Dupier. It was said that they 
were either members of the Spanish garrison in Gibraltar, 
or residents in the town, at the time of the siege of that great 
Mediterranean fortress by the English forces under Sir 
George Rooke in 1704, that they betrayed Gibraltar to the 
English, and that our Government had awarded uncommonly 
handsome pensions to them for their services. So much for 
the legend what is of real truth is that after Solomon 
Dupier's death in 1732 his widow, " in a cheerful and 
generous compliance with his generous intention/' built the 
Market Cross at Pontefract, on the site of the old Cross of 
St. Oswald. For some reason or other Dupier had also 
generous dispositions towards Darrington, and by his last 
will he left to the poor of the parish four acres of land at 
Carleton, near Snaith, the income from which is still dis- 
tributed in charity. His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Dupier, 
presented to Darrington Church the communion plate which 
did service until 1880 : a cup and paten of silver, a pewter 
flagon, and two plates. The cup was probably made by a 
Leeds silversmith about the year 1700 ; the paten, which 
bears the inscription giving the name of the donor, was made 
by John Fawdery of London in 1706. Mrs. Dupier died in 
1734, and was buried in Darrington Church, February 3rd. 
There is a monument in the church which commemorates 
herself and her husband. 



political results of the Reformation perhaps 
affected none but the ruling classes in a really 
important degree ; its social and economic results 
were at once felt by the poor folk in many disturb- 
ing ways, especially in the villages. " Rural life," says 
Mr. Montague Fordham, in his recent History of English 
Rural Life, " was greatly affected by the suppression of the 
monasteries and appropriation of their manors and other 
land by Henry VIII, he, whilst announcing his intention of 
disposing of these estates * to the honour of God and the 
wealth of the nation,' proceeded to sell or to distribute them 
amongst his courtiers and others, who in their turn, in many 
cases, again sold the properties. One-fifteenth part of 
England, some authorities conjecture, so changed hands in 
the course of a few years ; other writers think that far more 
land was dealt with. Probably as many as eight thousand 
monks, nuns, and friars were at the same time impoverished. 
Their dependents involved in this catastrophe may have 
numbered ten times as many. Eighty to ninety thousand 
individuals thrown, even temporarily, out of employ in the 
course of a few years must have caused much misery, suffer- 
ing, and poverty. Moreover, the disappearance of the 
monasteries was a blow to agriculture, for some, at least, 
of the monks were good farmers, collecting information 
both at home and abroad, and constantly making experi- 
ments with seeds introduced from other countries ; whilst 



their successors were, to quote Sir Thomas More, ' covetous 
and insatiable cormorants ' who knew little about agri- 
culture. These new men looked to their land to provide 
them with an income ; they wanted to secure money, either 
from sheep-farms or from rents. As a result, on the old 
monastic land, even in those places where there were no 
appropriations, the copyholders and other customary 
tenants who held at fixed and moderate rents, were often 
deprived of their land, and leaseholders, at higher rents, 
took their places." 

Nevertheless, a certain section of the people increased in 
wealth and prospered. Those who already had wealth 
increased it under the new system. That period was a 
striking exemplification of the fact that very often in the 
history of this world times come when to those who have 
shall be given, and from those who have not shall be taken 
away. The new folk who came into the land came chiefly 
from the towns ; they brought with them the townsman's 
ideas of better houses, better furnishing, better surroundings, 
better food. The farmhouse became greatly improved ; a 
higher standard of living was introduced. There was more 
money about ; people began to take life more easily. In 
the latter half of the sixteenth century and first half of the 
seventeenth century all the conditions of village life, so far 
as material matters were concerned, undoubtedly im- 
proved but only as regards certain folk. Just as in these 
days we have a millionaire class at one end of our social scale, 
and a mass of people who are always on the verge of starva- 
tion at the other, so in those times money tended to flow 
towards one section of the people and away from the 
opposite section. From the time of the Reformation 
onwards a new sort of poverty came into England. Up to 
that time the care of the poor had devolved upon and had 
been cheerfully carried out by the monastic orders and the 
Church Gilds ; when the monasteries were suppressed and 


the gilds abolished, the poor had none to care for them. 
The old religious spirit of charity was replaced by the new 
commercial spirit of greed. The new clergy were more 
concerned about their wives and families than the needs of 
their parishioners ; more anxious to lay hands on tithes and 
dues than to relieve those in want ; many of them were 
pluralists, and in attending to the collection of their moneys 
from their various livings, had no tune to consider the 
requirements of any particular one of them. The destruc- 
tion of the Church Gilds (societies attached to the parish 
churches) affected the poor folk in a trying degree. The 
part which these gilds played in the pre- Reformation life 
of the villages has been little understood. They practically 
managed everything in the social life of the village com- 
munity. They organized the village amusements and 
defrayed all expenses in connection with them. They were 
the village savings-banks. They were, on occasion, the 
village money-lenders. They nursed the sick, they buried 
the dead. No finer co-operative work was ever done in 
England than was done by the old Church Gilds. When 
they were swept out of existence in the reign of Edward VI 
a wonderful system was killed, and the poor folk paid for the 
killing. " The destruction of the wealth of the Church and 
the decay of the gilds," says Mr. Fordham, in his invalu- 
able work already quoted, " left the poor in a pitiable 

And so came into existence the thing which, since then, 
every honest healthy-minded Englishman has loathed, 
detested, and cursed the Poor Law. Do not let us imagine 
that Elizabeth and her Elizabethan which means like- 
minded ministers, who made the old Poor Law of 1601, 
made it for the relief of the poor. They cared no more for 
the poor than for the religion which had served the poor : 
their laws were made for the safeguarding of themselves 
against the poor. Henceforth the poor man, hitherto 


regarded as a human being who was to be helped, was to be 
looked upon as a dangerous quantity, not far from being a 
criminal of a deep dye ; he was to be fenced about. It 
mattered little that Christ had laid His special blessing upon 
the poor : folk who had torn the Blessed Sacrament from 
the altars, and broken the fonts into fragments, were not 
likely to care for the commands of Christ, or His Apostles, 
or His Church. And so no pity, no charity, was to be shown 
to the poor in future by the community, at any rate : if 
there were any private individuals who cared to show 
charity or pity, if the parson cared to have a poor-box in his 
church, all well and good the more fools he and they, said 
the law-makers : they, at all events, would make the lot of 
the poor so hard that even criminals should be better 
treated. No more charity for nothing henceforth the poor 
man is a pauper. He must work for his dole : he must 
break stones, sort wool, pick hemp. If he cannot work, 
his own parish must keep him. If he will not work, he must 
go to a house of correction where he will be half-starved and 
savagely punished. If he tramps about the country he 
must be whipped from village to village until he gets back 
to that in which he was born. If as in so many thousands 
of cases he is a child, he must be bound to a trade, he must 
become that miserable thing, a parish 'prentice, worked to 
skin and bone, fed on a minimum, beaten all day long. 
" The poor villager " (to quote Mr. Fordham again) " who 
in the past had relied on the casual yet kindly charity of the 
Church, or of individuals, or gilds, was thenceforth to be 
treated, in common with tramps and sturdy beggars, under 
a severe system/' Under that system he remained, too, 
until nearly a hundred years ago, when the revival of religion 
in England, and the exposure of our iniquitous Poor Law 
system in such books as Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, 
began to bring about changes of feeling, and attempts, 
not even now quite satisfactory, at new legislation. 


There are writers who attribute the next great upheaval 
in our national life the Civil War of the Seventeenth 
Century to the discontent which was spread amongst the 
masses of the people by the changed condition of things in 
the sixteenth century. They are mistaken. The vast mass 
of the rural population of England cared no more about the 
questions which separated Cavalier from Roundhead than 
they cared about what was going on in Poland at the same 
time. Few villagers were to be found in the ranks of either 
army : the ploughman stuck to his plough, the shepherd 
stood by his sheep. The Royalist forces were recruited 
from the aristocracy and the squirearchy ; the Parlia- 
mentarian from the yeomanry and the shopkeeping class, 
strengthened by a certain admixture of sour-visaged country 
gentlemen who were equally ready to cut a throat or sing a 
psalm. According to all that one can learn from con- 
temporary documents, the life of the villages went on very 
much as usual during the Civil War. Let us take Darrington 
as an example. Darrington, so to speak, is on the very 
threshold of Pontefract. At Pontefract was the strongest 
fortress in the North of England a castle round which more 
historical deeds centre than round almost any other castle 
in England. When war broke out between Charles I and 
the Parliament, Pontefract Castle was garrisoned for the 
King by the Royalist gentlemen of Yorkshire under Sir 
Richard Lowther of Swillington. Between 1644 an d I &49 
it withstood three sieges there were really four, if a small 
affair in 1645 is taken into account. Great things happened. 
All the great men of the day were in and around Pontefract. 
Newcastle was there ; Lord Fairfax was there ; his more 
famous son Sir Thomas was there ; one of the Fairfaxes had 
his headquarters at an old house still in existence at Carleton, 
a mile from Darrington ; Cromwell himself was in the neigh- 
bourhood for a time ; he wrote a long letter to the Parlia- 
ment from Knottingley, in which he spoke of Pontefract 


Castle as one of the strongest garrisons in the kingdom, 
situated on a rock in every part of it ; it was here that 
Cromwell's own particular soldiers first received their 
soubriquet of Ironsides. But in all the contemporary 
records which one can find of this great five years' struggle, 
at the very edge of its parish boundary, one hears nothing of 
Darrington or Darrington folk being intimately concerned, 
nor of anything relative to the siege taking place at Dar- 
rington, save that on Saturday, March ist, 1645, Sir Marma- 
duke Langdale's relieving force, which had marched from 
Oxford, advanced from Darrington to the Chequer Fields, 
where a fight took place, in which the Parliamentary forces 
were defeated and withdrew towards Ferrybridge. There 
is no mention of any Darrington man having been killed 
during these operations none, at any rate, in the parish 
registers, though there are two entries in the books for 1643 
which seem to relate to military matters. One is "A 
soldyer buried at Darrington 28th Maye " ; the other, 
" Another soldyer was buried at Darrington the xviijth of 
June." The names of these warriors are not given ; they 
probably died while their regiments or troops were passing 
through the place. In a list of Yorkshire gentry who took 
active part in the Civil War, recently made by Mr. J. W. 
Clay, and published in the Journal of the Yorkshire Archce- 
ological Society, there is no mention of any Darrington or 
Stapleton man who took sides, saving the then owner of 
Darrington, the Earl of Sussex (Savile), whose great diffi- 
culty was that he never knew which side he really wanted to 
take with the usual result that his indecision cost him dear. 
From all one can gather, the affairs of the parish went on 
very much as usual, men planting and sowing, reaping and 
garnering, in the accustomed way, while the primitive 
cannon flung their balls from Baghill across the valley into 
the grim walls built five hundred years before by the Normans 
under Ilbert de Lacy. 


But when Charles the First had lost his head, and the 
regicides had come into full sway, things happened which 
Darrington folk doubtless felt much more severely than they 
felt the marchings and counter-marchings and the dull thud 
of the guns two miles away across the uplands. The Puritan 
persecution not only extended to Church and religion ; it 
made itself felt, heavy-handed, in social life. England until 
the sixteenth century had been known as the most joyous 
and light-hearted of European nations ; it had well-merited 
its title of Merry England ; the folk had had their games, 
their sports, their mystery plays, their church ales, their 
wakes, their shooting of arrows from bows, their dancings, 
their innocent country pastimes. Some of these had gone 
at the time of the Reformation, but there was still plenty of 
mirth left until the dour and gloomy Puritan, with his long 
face and verjuice frown, came on the scene. Under his 
rule enforced, of course, in the name of true religion all 
these interferences always are in the name of something 
from which they are as widely separated as one pole from 
another all innocent recreations were abolished no more 
dancing round the Maypole, no more revels, no more 
Christmas mummings : to dance and to act were sinful. 
Sunday, once the true day of rest, whereon when men had 
done their religious duties they were free to amuse them- 
selves, became days of horrible dulness and of perverted 
ideas ; a Sabbatarian spirit was introduced which would 
have astonished the strictest sect of the Jews ; man was 
told with threats of fine and imprisonment that the 
Sabbath was not made for him, but he for the Puritan notion 
of the Sabbath. The holidays, which had been gradually 
encroached upon, were now swept clean away from the rural 
calendar ; it was sinful even to keep the feast of the patron 
saint. Once upon a time the people had enjoyed well- 
earned rest on the holy days appointed by the Church ; now 
they were enjoined to be fully occupied on such days, which 


were, of course, nothing but vain and fond things, stinking 
rags and putrid offal of Popery. And so a desperate dul- 
ness fell over village life, and if the hypocrite Puritans ever 
smiled in privacy it must have been when they reflected, 
with smug satisfaction, that they had robbed the simple 
folk of every jot and tittle of life and colour and wholesome 

When those who govern once begin robbing those whom 
they govern, we may be certain that they never stop rob- 
bing until they have taken all that the despoiled have to 
yield up. The people had now been robbed of their cherished 
religion and of their parish gilds, and of their ancient 
amusements the next thing was to rob them of their old 
rights to take game. For a thousand years village folk had 
enjoyed the right of killing and snaring on all common land, 
wood, and waste. There had certainly been a qualification 
instituted in the fourteenth century, by which the right to 
kill was limited to the two-pound freeholder. But that act 
had always been regarded as a dead letter : it would indeed 
have been impossible to carry it out. And the village 
people had always enjoyed the right of snaring and ferreting 
and netting, and had eked out their provender in that way 
without check. But the new class of landholders would 
have none of this : they wanted the game for themselves : 
poor folk, said they, should have no palate for hare or 
pheasant that was meat for their masters. And so the 
seventeenth century saw this other old privilege swept 
away, and in the Sessions Records we begin to find in- 
stances like that of my Lord Savile (Earl of Sussex) of 
Darrington, who prosecuted two poor men for catching a 
couple of conies on a warren which had doubtless been 
the common land of their ancestors ever since Anglo-Saxon 

But with all this new government of the poor, things did 
not work very satisfactorily for anybody. Grumblings 


there were in plenty. The new officials did not seem to get 
on with their business. Some of them, indeed, either had 
very little stomach for their duties, or were openly con- 
tumacious. At the West Riding Quarter Sessions held at 
Doncaster in October, 1638, Richard Speight, of Darrington, 
husbandman, and John Smith, of Wentbridge, husbandman, 
being Constables of Darrington and Wentbridge, were 
charged that they, on October ist of that year, in contempt 
of the Justices and to the bad example of other people, 
refused, on being ordered, to execute their office : the wit- 
nesses to their offence being Elizabeth Lodge and Thomas 
Holgate. What it was that Richard and John refused to do 
is not stated : they evidently considered themselves guilty, 
however, for they put themselves on the clemency of the 
Court, were convicted, fined 2os. and los. respectively, and 
duly paid their fines to the Sheriff. The new overseers of the 
poor, too, began to find that their office had its discomforts. 
At the Quarter Sessions held at Rotherham in July, 1640, 
John Pell, overseer of the poor at Darrington in the previous 
year, comes before the Justices with a petition. John, by 
order of that worshipful Court, has erected upon the waste 
at Darrington, a cottage, with the licence of the lord of the 
manor, which cottage is for the habitation of two poor 
widows. He has disbursed 493. 4d. about that cottage, 
out of his own pocket, which sum is still unpaid to him, and 
he cannot get his money. The Justices order that the 
present overseers of the poor of the said parish of Darrington 
shall forthwith pay John the said 493. 4d. and shall put that 
sum in their next lay or assessment : with which order 
John Pell is doubtless satisfied. Whether Dorothy White- 
head, of Darrington, is satisfied when the Justices sitting in 
Quarter Sessions at Pontefract in April, 1640, order that the 
churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the parish of 
Darrington shall pay her one shilling a week towards provid- 
ing for herself and her three young children, we may take 


leave to doubt, though one shilling went a long way in those 
days. Possibly no one was quite satisfied with the orders 
made by the Justices under the new scheme of things. 
There was a lot of squabbling and bickering amongst the 
various parishes in relation to the new Poor Law adminis- 
tration. The number of poor had increased terribly, and 
every parish wanted to get rid of folk who did not belong to 
it ; poor folk accordingly were being perpetually moved 
on just as the homeless man of to-day is always being 
moved on by the policeman. But, unfortunately not so 
much for themselves, but for the parishes many of them 
could not be moved on, because they were infirm in body, 
or had lost a necessary limb for moving on, or were cripples. 
Consequently, they had to be carried and the cripple cart 
became a feature, quite a constant feature, of the highways 
and roads. Over the cost and charges of these cripple carts 
the parishes were constantly quarrelling hence such 
passages as these in the Quarter Sessions Records. " At 
Pontefract, 23 April, 1639 Whereas divers differences are 
now depending amongst the inhabitantes of Darrington, 
Wentbrigge, Skelbrooke, Adwick, and divers other townes 
neare adjoynynge the roade way for the conveying and 
carryinge of criples from Doncaster unto Ferribrigge back- 
wardes and forwardes, and divers severall orders have been 
made and conceived by this Court about the same finall 
endinge and determynyge of all which differences, ordered 
that Sir John Ramsden, Knt., Sir Thomas Wentworth, Knt, 
Sir Edward Rodes, Knt., and Robert Rockley, Esq., four of 
his Ma ties justices of peace, or any two of them, shall 
examyne the differences or take a viewe of the way in 
question to conceive an order therein, the which both 
parties are willing to submit to, and the same to be con- 
firmed by this court, but in the meane tyme the last 
order of this court is to stand in force to be obeyed by all 


The result of the enquiry so ordered was stated at the 
Quarter Sessions held at Doncaster on the succeeding 
9th October, as follows : " Sir John Ramsden, Sir Thos. 
Wentworth, Sir Edw. Rodes, and Robt. Rockley, Esq., 
having viewed the highway from fferribrigge to Doncaster, 
certifie that they finde the same waye to lye from fferri- 
brigge to Knottingley, from Knottingley to Cridlinge, with 
the Parke, and soe to Womersley, and from Womersley 
to Stubbs Walden, and from thence to Norton, and soe 
to Campsall, and from Campsall to Burghwallis and soe to 
Skellowe, and from thence the direct way to Doncaster, 
which waye doth appeare to be the ancient waye and more 
convenient than any other waye and therefore fittinge to be 
contynued as heretofore it hath beene, that the townes of 
Darrington, Wentbrigge, and Skelbrooke should not be here- 
after troubled with carryinge and conveying of any such 
cripples or people with passes as of late they have bene. 
Townes discharged shall give contribucion xxs. per annum, 
viz., vjs. viijd. from Skelbrooke, and as much from Went- 
brigge, and as much from Darrington and that they 
conceived that there was no great difference in length 
betwixt the said two wayes : This Court having perused the 
contents of the said Certificate doe conceive the same to be 
reasonable and connrmeth the same accordinglye." 

Again. " At Pontefract, 14 April, 1640 Whereas itt was 
formerly ordered by this Cort that the inhabitants of Crid- 
linge and Stapleton shold pay unto the inhabitants of 
Darrington the summe of 53. either of them, yearlye, for and 
towardes the chardge of conveyinge of cripples towardes 
Doncaster, and soe backe from thence northwardes, now for 
that the saide former order is not observed, but them of 
Cridlinge are chardged with conveying the said cripples 
towardes Doncaster southwardes, and soe from Cridling to 
Knottingley northwarde backe againe, ordered that the said 
inhabitants of Darrington and Stapleton shall, either of 


them, contribute yearlye unto the said inhabitants of 
Cridlinge the summe of 55. for and towardes their chardge 
as aforesaid/' 

It is a pleasing spectacle, this carrying of the infirm and 
the cripple along the highway, passing them from hand to 
hand like bad coin, and it must have made reflective men 
wonder if the pulling down of the monasteries and the 
religious hospitals, in which the poor had been relieved and 
the sick healed, had been, after all, such a very grand thing. 
Perhaps, however, men did not reflect very much in those 
days. We may be certain that the overseers of the poor, 
wanting to get undesirables off their hands, did not trouble 
to think at all of what might have been, but of what they 
had to do. As for the drivers and conductors of the cripple 
carts, it took them all their time to make their way along 
the roads. For the roads, even under the rigorous rule of 
the Puritans, were in a bad and perilous state. Even then 
they were, for the most part, little more than tracks beaten, 
it is true, but beaten into mud, through which ran deep ruts. 
Wheeled vehicles were used as little as possible most people 
rode on horseback, and as far as they could, carried their 
goods to market or fair on horseback. The fact was, the roads, 
nominally the King's, belonged to nobody, and nobody 
cared to take care of them moreover, the art of road- 
making, in which the Romans had been so perfect, had been 
lost. Most people, too, only travelled short distances to 
the nearest town or market. Folk who were obliged to 
travel far afield were always complaining, and the parishes 
were perpetually being worried to mend and improve their 
own particular stretch of highway. Nothing of a State 
nature was done in this way under Elizabeth, or the first 
Stuarts, or Cromwell. But in the beginning of Charles the 
Second's reign, a principle which had long been applied to 
bridges was applied to the highways ; toll-bars were set up 
and charges levied, and the proceeds applied to road- 


mending. Nevertheless, the main roads of Yorkshire 
remained in a poor state until the eighteenth century, 
when the famous Blind Jack of Knaresborough (John Met- 
calf) showed a wondering world what a sightless man can do 
in the way of engineering. 



IT has been stated already that the Manor of Darrington 
passed from the Fitz William family to that of the 
Saviles by the marriage of Elizabeth Soothill, the 
daughter of William Fitz William's uncle-by-marriage, 
Thomas Soothill, with Sir Henry Savile of Thornhill, about 
1520. It remained in possession of various branches and 
connections of the Savile family for the next hundred and 
thirty years. But the details of their possession are scanty 
and not a little confusing. The ancient house of Savile was 
split up into many branches one gets puzzled between 
Saviles of Thornhill, Saviles of Howley, Saviles of Sprot- 
borough, Saviles of Halifax, Saviles of Pontefract. What 
is more important is the fact that the Saviles were folk of 
mighty distinction. " The Saviles," says Miss Foxcroft, 
in her monumental and learned Life and Letters of Sir George 
Savile, Bart., First Marquis of Halifax, " are essentially a 
Yorkshire family ; one of the most illustrious, if not the 
most illustrious in the West Riding of the County of York," 
and she quotes Whitaker, the erudite Yorkshire antiquary, 
as observing, in his History of Loidis and Elmete, that the 
Savile race was " distinguished almost above every other 
in the County of York, as well as by the spirit and genius of 
its principals in several of the later descents." Which of 
the later descents it was that held Darrington between the 
Fitz William time and the beginning of the reign of Charles 



the First about one hundred years it is difficult to make 
out. But we do know that at the outbreak of the Civil War, 
Darrington had for some years belonged to the somewhat 
famous Earl of Sussex, a Savile who, according to a pedigree 
in Miss Foxcroft's work just referred to, was descended 
directly from Robert Savile of Howley, an illegitimate son 
of the Sir Henry Savile who married Elizabeth Soothill, 
co-heiress of the Fitz William estates. 

Of this Savile we have a good many particulars, for he 
was well known in his time for a variety of reasons. He 
was Sir Thomas Savile, second Lord Savile of Howley. He 
was created Viscount Savile of Castlebar in the peerage of 
Ireland on June nth, 1628 ; on May 25th, 1644 (the year 
of the battle of Marston Moor, when Charles I's fortunes 
were very much on the decline) he was created Earl of 
Sussex. Twenty years before this he had been Member of 
Parliament for Yorkshire 1623 to 1625 and in 1638-9 
he was Lord-Lieutenant of the County. About that time 
he was imprisoned in the Fleet. As regards his attitude to 
the Civil War, he appears to have been consistent in only 
one thing his indecision as to which cause to side with. 
He was not only a wobbler between the two causes, but a 
person of doubtful character "a man of so ill a fame," 
says Clarendon, "that many desired not to mingle with 
him, and was so false, that he never could be believed or 
depended upon ; " while Burnet, in his History of His Own 
Times, accuses him of having forged the names of several 
of his brother peers in the negotiations with the Scots, 
and substantiates his charge with the proofs of it. He 
held the office of Treasurer to Charles I, but there is no 
record of his ever having held any command in the Royalist 
Army. He is known to have negotiated with the Parlia- 
mentarian leader, Sir John Hotham of Scorborough, about 
his estates at Howley : he is known, too, to have been im- 
prisoned by the Parliamentarians at Newark, Oxford, and 


London. Eventually he had to compound with the Parlia- 
ment for his estates, and his fine was fixed at 8000, which 
was subsequently reduced by one-half. Born in 1590 he 
died in 1658, having been twice married first to Frances, 
daughter of Sir Michael Sondes ; secondly, to Anne, 
daughter of Christopher Villiers, Earl of Anglesey. 

According to such evidence as we have, this Savile bought 
Darrington from another Savile, who is spoken of as Sir 
William Savile of Castlebar, Ireland an instance of how 
the Saviles, of whom there are infinitude of branches, spread 
themselves about the realm. The lands sold were situate 
in Darrington, Wentbridge, and Smeaton, and the yearly 
value was computed at 200. The purchase price agreed 
upon was 4160. The date of the deed is 21 February 17 
of Charles I 1642, the year of the outbreak of the Civil War. 
In spite of all the troublous condition of those times, by 
1646 the Earl had paid off 2400 of the purchase-money, 
and in spite of the heavy fine exacted from him by the 
Parliament he was evidently in full possession of his estates 
at the time of his death. After his creation as Earl of 
Sussex, very little is heard of him, but some years ago his 
will was found at Somerset House (dated November 3rd, 
1657 ; proved October 8th, 1659), and in it there is set forth 
that he was " seised of a good estate " in the manors of 
Kirkstall, Headingley, Burley, Morley, West and East 
Ardsley, Woodkirk, Gildersome, Liversedge, Bramley, 
Batley, and Darrington-cum-Smeaton. These estates 
passed to his son, the second Earl of Sussex. He died in 
1671. With him the title became extinct : the lands 
passed to his sister Frances, who had married the Earl 
of Cardigan. A great number of the manors and lands 
just mentioned remained in the possession of the Earls 
of Cardigan for two hundred years, and those on the 
outskirts of Leeds were sold not many years ago. But 
as regards Darrington, it was sold by the Cardigans in 


1709 to Robert Frank, a member of an old Pontefract 
family. In 1724 his daughter Elizabeth married Samuel 
Savile of Thrybergh and Darrington thus came back 
into the possession of yet another branch of this remark- 
able Yorkshire race. 



A)UT the same time that one branch of the Savile 
family acquired the Manor of Darrington, 
another branch became possessed of the sister 
Manor of Stapleton. Here again one is like to 
become confused and puzzled amongst all the multi- 
tudinous ramifications of the Savile pedigrees, branches, 
and spreadings of themselves over the land. There were 
at or about this period Saviles of a good dozen places in 
Yorkshire ; to say nothing of their connection with other 
counties. In the West Riding alone there were Saviles of 
Blathroyd, of Bradley, of Copley, of Haigh, of Howley, 
of Halifax, of Hullenedge, of Lupset, of Methley, of Mex- 
borough, of Newhall, of Sprotborough, of Watergate, of 
Wath : one becomes utterly bewildered by these people 
who gave new members to the peerage, ministers to the 
Crown, Barons of the Exchequer, professors to the uni- 
versities, soldiers to the army, and statesmen to the Houses 
of Parliament. And all that one can clearly or definitely say 
about the first connection of the Saviles with Stapleton is, 
that somewhere about the end of the reign of James I, or 
beginning of the reign of his son and successor, Bartholomew 
Holgate sold it to Sir John Savile, who was created Baron 
Savile of Pontefract by Charles I in 1628. But we do not 
hear much of him in connection with Stapleton no more, 
indeed, than we hear of any Savile connection with Dar- 
rington at the same period. There is nothing whatever to 



show that any residence was ever made at Darrington by 
the Earl of Sussex, nor at Stapleton by Lord Savile of Ponte- 
fract. It is questionable, indeed, if there was any house at 
either Stapleton or Darrington in which such persons of 
quality could have resided, at that time. The first house, 
built on the site of the present hall at Darrington, no doubt 
originated in Tudor days, but there is evidence, which will 
presently be forthcoming, that it was a very humble affair 
right up to the eighteenth century. Whatever manor-house 
there was at Stapleton was also, doubtless, very small, a mere 
country retreat, possibly no more than a sort of superior 
farmstead, in the middle of the seventeenth century, and 
it is very unlikely, considering the troublous times, and their 
own short tenure of the two manors, that the Saviles (of this 
generation) did any building at either Darrington or Staple- 
ton. Nevertheless, there is some small amount of light on 
the matter, and one may indulge in a theory because of it. 
The Saviles, like all great families, had a lot of younger 
branches folk who, in plain English, were poor relations. 
Being Saviles they had to be provided for, just as in these 
days great folk provide for their poor cousins and nephews 
by making them estate agents or stewards. Now in the 
Darrington parish registers of that period there are a few 
only a few notices in which the Savile name figures : 
such entries as " John, sonne of William Savile, Esq. and 
Katherine bapt. February 26, " and " Mary, ye daughter of 
Mr. Savile, baptized March 26," and so on. The probability 
is and probability, as Bishop Butler is careful to insist in 
the introduction to his Analogy, is the very guide of life 
that these Saviles, who were certainly residents in the parish 
of Darrington during the seventeenth century, were minor 
offshoots of the great folk, and were set down in these 
out-of-the-way manors to vegetate cheaply. 

Be all that as it may, Sir John Savile, Lord Savile of 
Pontefract, had no very long connection with anything on 


earth after he became possessed of his title. He died in 
1630, and he left the estate to his daughter, Mrs. Anne Leigh. 
There is no mention of her in the parish register. She died 
in 1640, and she left her possessions amongst her three 
daughters. One of those daughters married a Braithwaite : 
that Braithwaite was a kinsman of that eminent person, 
Captain Richard Braithwaite, a Westmorland man who 
lies buried in the churchyard of Catterick, near Rich- 
mond, and who wrote, under the Englished title of 
Drunken Barnaby's Journey, the much- discussed doggerel 
(in which Wentbridge is referred to) which Robert Southey 
was good enough to pronounce " the best piece of rhymed 
Latin in modern literature." The Braithwaite who married 
Lord Savile's granddaughter seems to have had some resi- 
dential connection with Stapleton, but there are few parti- 
culars of it : he may have been there when the vagabond 
pictured by his relation tramped up the Great North Road, 
past the Stapleton woods, between Wentbridge and Ferry- 
bridge. But all that is indefinite : what is definite is that 
just about the time that Charles the Second came back to 
England, to find a people so glad to see him that he wondered 
they had been so long in sending for him, Stapleton had 
come into possession of yet another of its many owners 
James Greenwood. In his possession, and in that of his son, 
another James, it remained until the end of the seventeenth 

These Greenwoods came from Wrenthorpe. They were 
folk of a creditable and sufficient antiquity : Thoresby, the 
great topographer, who was a mighty hand at delving into 
the past, gives their pedigree in his Ducatus Leodiensis, and 
traces it back to 1154. The first James Greenwood of 
Stapleton, on acquiring the manor, let the house to George 
Fairfax, a kinsman of the famous family, and himself a man 
of reputation as a mathematician. George Fairfax was the 
son of Dr. William Fairfax, Rector of St. Peter's, Cornhill, 


and Vicar of East Ham, who was bundled out of his livings 
by the Puritans, and imprisoned for conscience' sake in 
Ely House, his wife and family being at the same time 
turned out of doors. Many of the children of this George 
Fairfax by his marriage with Dorothy, daughter of Gervase 
Falconer, were baptized and buried in Darrington Church 
between 1663 and 1668. In Darrington Church, too, 
on October i6th, 1670, was buried their landlord, James 

James Greenwood, the second, of Stapleton, appears to 
have lived there for many years after the Fairfax tenancy 
had come to an end. There are numerous entries about his 
children in the Darrington registers. And in Darrington 
Church, in the south arch of the tower, there is to this day 
an interesting memorial which has a connection with him. 
He had married Frances, the daughter of William Farrar, 
of Ewood Hall, near Halifax. Mr. Farrar died at Stapleton, 
while on a visit to his daughter, in 1684, and was buried in 
Darrington Church. His altar tomb of stone, on which is a 
small brass plate, the lettering of which is singularly artistic, 
was for many years previous to 1880 used as the communion 
table : when the church was restored in that year, it was 
removed to its present position. James Greenwood who 
probably placed this tomb there sold Stapleton in 1702 to 
Samuel Walker, of York, and to York James Greenwood 
himself retired. During the remainder of his life he lived in 
Swinegate, in a house which he had leased from the Bishop 
of Chester. In his will he left his children one shilling each, 
on the grounds that they had already been " over and above " 
provided for, but he recommended his widow to " distribute" 
what he left to her, on her own decease. 



R CHARD BRAITHWAITE, who immortalized 
Wentbridge in his Bamabae Itinerarium, com- 
monly known as Drunken Barnaby's Journey, 
was a gentleman of good family, of Westmorland, 
who, after various adventures at Oxford, where he was a 
commoner of Oriel College in 1604 ; at Cambridge, where he 
had Bishop Lancelot Andrewes for his tutor ; at one of the 
Inns of Court, where he cultivated a taste for dramatic 
writing instead of attending to law books ; and as a captain 
of a foot company in the trained bands, settled down at 
Catterick, in the North Riding, and became a model country 
squire. Whether he ever tramped up and down the country 
in his own person, as he makes his dissipated hero do, is 
doubtful : Barnaby, as the author presents him, is a scur- 
rilous and obscene fellow, if a merry and witty one : Captain 
Braithwaite himself left behind him, says the old antiquary 
Anthony a Wood, the character of a well-bred gentleman, 
a good neighbour, a consistent Christian, and an upright 
man : moreover, instead of being a carelessly attired, frowsy 
loafer, as Barnaby is, he was accounted one of the hand- 
somest men of his day in his last years, and was always so 
well dressed and appointed that his equals called him 
Dapper Dick. However, whether Braithwaite ever roamed 
the country or not and he may have done, at some wild- 
oats period of his fairly long life he certainly possessed a 
very remarkable knowledge of its topography, and of the 



characteristics and peculiarities of the places he refers to in 
the Barnabae Itinerarium, as will be seen by his references to 
Wentbridge, which occur in the third part of that strange 
work : 

Veni Wentbridge, ubi plagae Thence to Wentbridge, where vile 


Terrae, maris, vivunt sagae, Hideous hags, and odious witches, 

Vultu torto et anili ; Writhen count'nance, and mis- 


Et conditione vili : Are by some foul bugbear taken : 

His infernae manent sedes, There infernal seats inherit, 

Quae cum inferis ineunt foedus. Who contract with such a spirit. 

The reference here is undoubtedly to the witches or wise 
women who at that time were supposed to dwell in the wilds 
of Brockodale. One of these, at any rate, was a real person, 
Mary Pannell, who attained considerable notoriety in the 
parish of Darrington. Even in those days of the seventeenth 
century, despite all the light and learning which came into 
the country with the Reformation, people believed in witch- 
craft not only common people, but people of education. 
Amongst a list of Articles to be enquired into within the Arch- 
deaconry of Yorke by the Church Wardens and Sworne Men, 
circa 1630, is the following significant one : " Whether 
there be any man or woman in your parish that useth Witch- 
craft, Sorcery, Charmes, or Unlawful Prayer, or Invocation 
in Latin or English, upon any Christian Body or Beast, or 
any that Resorteth to the same for counsell or helpe ? " 
No doubt many Darrington, Stapleton, and Wentbridge 
people did resort to Mary Pannell what time she lived in her 
cave at Brockodale, somewhere amongst the limestone rocks 
overlooking the Went, for things became too hot for her 
there, and she went to other quarters at Ledsham. There 
she was eventually arrested, carried to York, sentenced to 
death for a witch, and near Ledsham she was duly burned 
at the stake. This was early in the seventeenth century ; 


they went on burning witches and wise women in England 
and Scotland for another hundred and twenty years. 

A much more wholesome and picturesque figure than 
Mary Pannell which was to be seen about Wentbridge in the 
second half of the reign of Charles the Second was that of 
Nevinson, the Highwayman, who possibly because Went- 
bridge and its adjacent woods, and the dark and out-of-the- 
way ravine of Brockodale, made good retreats in times of 
peril from constables and thief-takers spent many festive 
hours at the Old Gate Inn, a tavern which has long since 
disappeared, but is said to have stood near the corner of the 
road which leads to the Fox-and-Hounds and Thorpe 
Audlin. Nevinson, who is easily the first of English high- 
waymen, and who really performed most of the great feats 
attributed to a much later personage, Turpin, was a native 
of these parts, though there is considerable difference of 
opinion on that point, some writers affirming that he was 
born at Burton Agnes in the East Riding, some at Wortley, 
near Penistone, and some at Pontefract. It is also said 
that his real name was not Nevinson, but Bracy, and while 
he is called John in some writings, he is styled William in 
others. Considering his undoubted associations with Ponte- 
fract, there is good ground for believing him to have been 
born there. At Pontefract he certainly made the great leap 
on horseback which is commemorated in the sign of the ale- 
house on the upper Ferrybridge road Nevinson's Leap, 
close by which he jumped his horse across a formidable 
chasm in escaping from pursuers. As regards what is known 
of his life, it is said that he began his career by stealing his 
father's silver spoons, ran away to London, proceeded to 
Flanders, saw military service there, came home, adopted 
the highway as a calling, forsook it, became a soldier again, 
returned to the road, and turned highwayman for good in 
the grand manner. He is said to have been a man of 
gentlemanly appearance and charming manners, handsome 


of face, and of undaunted courage. That he was possessed 
of as much cunning as audacity is proved by his famous ride 
to York usually attributed to Turpin, but without doubt 
actually carried out by Nevinson. The circumstances were 
these : During the early hours of a summer night, Nevinson, 
then operating in the South, committed a robbery somewhere 
in the neighbourhood of Gadshill, near Rochester. The idea 
of an alibi immediately occurred to him. He crossed the 
Thames at Gravesend, rode hard through Essex and Cam- 
bridge to Huntingdon, got on the Great North Road, and 
pressing forward at a continuous hard pace all day through 
Stamford, Grantham, Doncaster, Darrington, and Tad- 
caster, was in York long before sunset. He changed his 
clothes as soon as he arrived, and forthwith repaired to a 
public place of resort, where he contrived to have himself 
seen and spoken to by no less a person than the Lord Mayor. 
According to most of the accounts, he rode the two hundred 
miles in fifteen hours, on one horse. But if the robbery at 
Gadshill took place at, say, one or two o'clock in the morning, 
Nevinson would have, say, eighteen hours for his journey. 
Granted a good horse and highwaymen always rode good 
horses the feat is not so wonderful as it at first looks. But 
it was greatly talked of at that time, and it was doubtless 
the news of it that made Charles the Second confer on its doer 
the title of Swift Nick. 

Whether Nevinson operated much in the neighbourhood of 
Wentbridge and Darrington, or whether he chose Went- 
bridge as a resting-place, one does not know. This quarter 
of the Great North Road was peculiarly favourable for the 
gentlemen of the High Toby. From the old Blue Bell Inn 
(the 1633 oak-board sign of which is still in evidence within 
the modern part of the house) to the Bar at Barnsdale 
stretched a particularly wild and solitary piece of road ; 
from the top of the old coach road north of Wentbridge 
another lonely piece extended to Darrington ; between the 


Black Clump at Darrington and Ferrybridge was a third. 
Nevinson may have taken a fat purse hereabouts now and 
then, or he may have left this neighbourhood to one of his 
assistants, for he is commonly believed to have organized 
and been the head of a gang. His record shows that he was 
round about this part of the West Riding a great deal. And 
at last he was caught, and not many miles away from Went- 
bridge. In that curious collection of diaries and memoranda 
left by the old Nonconformist, Oliver Heywood (1630-1702) 
there is an account of the highwayman's arrest which is 
worth setting down precisely as Heywood wrote it : " Upon 
Thursday March 6 i68f ," he writes, " one Mr. J. Hardcastle 
of Penthorp near Wakefield understanding that John 
Nevison, the highway-man was drinking at an Ale-house 
near Sandalcastle, took some with him, and so apprehended 
Nevison, brought him to Wakefield, Mr. White made him a 
wittiness, sent him to York, in midst of the Assize, the judg 
proceeded on his former conviction, condemnation some 
years agoe, he had his pardon, but it was conditional, if he 
would leave the kingdom, but he had stayd, so forfeited his 
life, the judg told him he must dye, for he was a terrour to 
the country, pronounced the sentence, which was executed 
on March 15 ... he was something stupid, yet at the 
gallows confessed that he killed Fletcher (the Constable near 
Hooley) [Howley, near Batley] in his own defence, but did 
not betray his companions, there was none but he executed 
at this Assizes, thus at last he is found out, and taken to his 
mischief, his time was come, tho he had a long reign, he was 
born at Wortley, betwixt Peniston and Rotherham, Mtris 
Cotton lived in the neighbourhood, knew his parents and 
him when young, they were brought up prophanely he 
marryed a wife at an ale-house thereabouts, hath been a 
notorious wretch many ways, hath committed many 
robberys, had the country in such awe that the carriers paid 
him rent, duty, to let them alone others let him money, 


that he might let them passe quietly, I have seen him passe 
ordinarily in the road, he hd his horse lately down the street 
at Wakefield, was generally known, yet none were so hardy 
as to lay hands on him, tho there was 20 li by proclamation 
to him that should take him, but he is at last gone, and hath 
left much debt at severall ale-houses in the country where 
he haunted " one of them, no doubt, though the old 
Nonconformist does not say so, being the long vanished 
Gate Inn at Wentbridge. Nor does Oliver Heywood tell us 
that Captain William (not Mr. J.) Hardcastle, who arrested 
Nevinson at the Three Houses Inn, at Sandal, on the date 
mentioned, afterwards presented the finely carved oak chair, 
in which the highwayman was sitting at the time, to the 
parish church of St. Helen, at Sandal Magna, where it may 
be seen to this day. 


f" "*^HE ROBERT FRANK of Pontefract, to whom 
the Manor of Darrington, as part of the Cardigan 
estates, was sold in 1709, was a member of a 

-^- Pontefract family of some standing in the seven- 
teenth century. The names of two members of this family 
are mentioned in connection with the demolition of Ponte- 
fract Castle. After the final fall of the Royalist garrison, 
in March, 1648-9, when General Lambert took possession 
of the old fortress on behalf of the Paliament, the House of 
Commons resolved on its dismantlement, and the necessary 
order for destruction was made by the Committee of the 
West Riding at Wakefield General Sessions, on April 4th, 
1649. The execution of that order was entrusted to 
Edward Field, Mayor of Pontefract, Mr. Robert More, 
Mr. Robert Frank, Mr. Matthew Frank, Mr. John Ramsden, 
Mr. Christopher Long, and Captain John Long, or any four 
of them acting together. The Robert Frank here mentioned 
was probably the father of the Robert Frank who bought 
Darrington, and whose daughter Elizabeth in 1724 married 
Samuel Savile of Thrybergh. 

It is a curious peculiarity of the Manor of Darrington that 
from the Norman Conquest to the present day none of its 
owners, with one exception, have ever lived in its manor- 
house. The de Lacys never lived there ; the Fitz Williams 
never lived there ; the first Savile owners never lived there. 
The Sotherons, at a later date, may have lived there now and 


MANOR OF DARRINGTON : 1709-1750 103 

then : the Sotheron-Estcourts and after them the Estcourts, 
modern owners, never lived there at all. Ever since there 
was such a thing as a manor-house or hall, it was occupied 
by the lord of the manor's bailiff or by tenants with the 
single exception already alluded to. That exception was 
Samuel Savile. He appears to have lived at Darrington 
Hall from the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Frank until 
he died in 1735. We do not know much of him. He him- 
self was buried in Darrington Church, July ist, 1735. He 
had no son to survive him. His estates devolved upon two 
daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth died three years 
after her father ; the record is in the parish register : 
" Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir to Samuel Savile, Esq re 
buried Sept. 26. 1738." Sarah Savile then became sole 
heiress. Her mother married again she married Mr. John 
Hoare, of Pontefract. She died in 1749, and her second 
husband died in 1751. Both are buried in Darrington 
Church. And in Darrington Church, also in 1751, Sarah 
Savile, owner of the estates, gave her hand in marriage to 
William Sotheron of Pontefract February I3th. She had 
evidently left Darrington Hall by that time, for she is 
described in the register as of Pontefract. But during the 
twenty-seven years in which she and her father between 
them held Darrington Hall, much of the present house 
and its surroundings was put into the form in which 
one now sees them. During the second Savile ownership 
the house was enlarged, restored, and made in accordance 
with the tastes of an eighteenth-century country gentleman. 
In the Lansdowne MSS., in the British Museum, there is 
a sketch of Darrington Hall as it was about the end 
of Samuel Savile's life. It appears to have then been a 
building of the later Tudor period, recently modernized. 
And on the waterspouts at the north end of the house there 
are or there were until recently examples of Samuel 
Savile's crest an owl on a torce. 



DURING the first half of the eighteenth century 
Stapleton appears to have been continually in 
the property market. It was always being 
bought and sold. James Greenwood the younger 
sold it in 1702 to one Samuel Walker, a York man. Eight 
years later Samuel Walker mortgaged it to Nathaniel Wilson, 
also of York, but he evidently paid the mortgage off in 1721, 
for he was in full possession of it again by that time. This 
Samuel Walker was one of the churchwardens of Darrington 
in 1722, and a bell of that date bears his name. A son of his, 
another Samuel Walker, was a medical man, who appears 
to have practised at Pontefract, Wakefield, and Newark. 
He was an Alderman of Pontefract in 1718-19 ; in the last- 
named year he married Martha Medley of Pontefract at 
Darrington Church. In Darrington Church, too, Samuel 
Walker the elder was buried : there is a monument to his 
memory. He was then ninety years of age. But at the 
time of his death he was no longer in possession of Stapleton ; 
in 1736 he had sold it to the Honourable Anthony Lowther 
of Byram. In 1743 Viscount Lonsdale, acting for Anthony 
Lowther, sold Stapleton to John Smith of Newland : in 1749 
John Silvester Smith sold it to John Boldero of London. 
Thus within under fifty years the Stapleton estate changed 
hands no less than six times. Of its various owners during 
that period not much is recorded : they make no particular 
figure in the parish history, nor in its register. But the 


MANOR OF STAPLETON : 1702-1749 105 

Lowthers were, of course, of the great Yorkshire family of 
that name, and John Boldero was a banker of London, 
of the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn. He held Stapleton 
for thirteen years ; three of his children were born there, and 
baptized in Darrington Church : John, on August I2th, 
1756 ; Edward, on August 4th, 1757 (the register, oddly, 
says he was born on August 8th), and Charles, on July 2ist, 
1758. None of these early eighteenth-century owners, 
except the Walkers and the Bolderos, appear to have lived 
at Stapleton. 


CHURCH LIFE: 1700-1750 

THE eighteenth century represents the low-water 
mark of everything English. Never in the his- 
tory of the English nation was there a time so 
characterized by mediocrity, dulness, and lack 
of imagination. The reigning sovereigns were either 
thoroughly gross or unutterably stupid ; the statesmen 
were opportunist, venial, and corrupt ; the people were 
given up to a soul- wrecking materialism. There was 
nothing to redeem the prevalent drabness, and little to 
lighten the spiritual darkness. Had it not been for Pope, 
for Goldsmith, for Johnson, in the world of letters ; for Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, in that of art ; for Garrick, in things 
theatrical ; for men like Watt, Priestley, and Brindley in 
science and invention; for certain of the higher class of 
clergy in the church, the eighteenth century would have 
presented itself to history as being devoid of one redeeming 

In no respect was eighteenth-century life worse, more 
hopeless, than in Church life especially during its first fifty 
years. Religion in England was dead for all practical 
purpose. Catholicism had been first strangled, and then 
burnt if any of its ashes still smouldered it was in such 
obscure corners that no gleam of the scarce-living fire met 
the eyes of more than a few. To be a Catholic was to be a 
pariah ; it was to court persecution, fine, imprisonment, 
confiscation of property. The Established Church, too, 


CHURCH LIFE : 1700-1750 107 

had become a dead thing. Whatever spiritual power it had 
possessed in the reign of Elizabeth and of the Stuarts had 
vanished. It had no power to manage its own affairs. 
Parliament had taken that power which the Church once 
had into its own hands. The Church had no means of 
speaking on its own behalf except through the lips of its 
Bishops sitting in the House of Lords. And at that time 
the Bishops were only a trifle less corrupt and worldly than 
the statesmen who gave them their bishoprics. Oppor- 
tunist statesmen of the Walpole type regarded bishoprics 
as rewards to be given to clerics who served their party. 
Hardwicke, Lord Chancellor, made no secret of the fact that 
he regarded the vast number of Church preferments which 
he had at disposal as means of increasing his own political 
influence. The bishops took their colour from the folk who 
gave them their mitres if they shepherded anything it was 
their own revenues. Men who got bishoprics regarded them 
as opportunities for aggrandizing themselves and founding 
wealthy families. Dr. Watson, Bishop of Llandaff, held, 
in addition to his bishopric, no less than nine livings : instead 
of attending to his episcopal duties, or visiting his livings, 
he lived the life of a rich country gentleman in the Lake 
District. Another Welsh bishop, Hoadley, never once 
visited his see of Bangor during his six years' occupancy of it. 
Even such a man of real learning and greatness as Butler 
thought it no shame, when he was Bishop of Bristol, to hold 
a canonry at Rochester, and the enormously rich benefice 
of Stanhope, in Durham. As the bishops were, so were the 
beneficed clergy. Pluralism and absenteeism were rampant 
no one in those days thought any the worse of a clergyman 
who, by influence and favour, got hold of as many livings as 
he could, and put into each of them a half-starved curate. 
Outside the ranks of those clergy who had influence at their 
backs, the condition of the ministers of the Eastablished 
Church at the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne was of a 


nature that is almost unbelievable. Queen Anne, to her 
lasting credit, did something to help them. Before the 
Reformation the clergy had been in possession of firstfruits, 
a tax originally levied in aid of the Crusades, and subse- 
quently given over to the Church. At the time of the 
Reformation these firstfruits had been seized by Henry VIII, 
and every succeeding monarch had followed his bad ex- 
ample : Queen Anne restored them to the clergy, and how 
badly the clergy needed them may be gathered from the 
fact that on the eve of this reform there were nearly 6000 
clergymen in England whose incomes were under 50 a year. 
But even after this reform the condition ol the inferior 
clergy, the curates who did duty for the absentee rectors 
and vicars, was bad enough. In a curious book of that 
period, entitled The Miseries and Great Hardships of the 
Inferior Clergy, its writer, Thomas Stackhouse, a clergyman 
who never received preferment of any sort until his fifty- 
sixth year, gives us a significant view of the condition of 
things. " The salaries of the curates," he says, " were 
often less than the sexton's, and not so punctually paid ; 
the rectors made jests upon their (the curates') poverty ; 
the common fee for a sermon was a shilling and a dinner ; 
for reading prayers, twopence and a cup of coffee." And 
naturally, with such things obtaining amongst its clergy, 
the services of the Established Church were slovenly, care- 
less, and irreverent. For a hundred and fifty years the 
churches had been more like bare barns than houses of 
religion. The altar was gone, with all the accessories of 
Catholic worship : in its place was a communion-table, 
small and mean, hidden away behind a three-decker pulpit, 
from the various stages of which parson and clerk droned 
the service to such folk as cared to attend. They were not 
many. Those who did go were divided into classes. In the 
old pre-Reformation days all men had been equal in God's 
house ; the knight knelt by the side of the labourer ; the 

CHURCH LIFE : 1700-1750 109 

fine gentlewoman at the hand of the poor man's wife. Now 
the rich folk sat in guarded pews ; the poor were penned in 
obscure corners of the church : men were equal, as Chris- 
tians, no longer. Not that there was much of Christianity 
to be found in the churches, as a whole : at any rate, so far 
as actual practice went. Daily service had long since fallen 
into disuse ; nobody, outside the universities, the great 
towns, and the cathedral cities, ever dreamed of keeping 
feast or fast ; it was not even considered necessary to hold 
services every Sunday. Balleine, in his History of the 
Evangelical Party, says, that in the county of Essex, at this 
period, " only 102 out of 310 churches were even supposed 
to have two services on a Sunday, and some had only one 
service a fortnight, and some only one a month. Only 
twenty parishes had a monthly communion ; in the majority 
there were three or four administrations a year, and two had 
none at all." Nor were things really much better in places 
where one would have expected to find a higher standard, 
for Tomline (Bishop of Lincoln) who was Dean of St. Paul's 
in 1800 says, that on Easter Day of that year " in that 
vast and noble Cathedral no more than six persons were 
found at the Table of the Lord." One reason, of course, oi 
all this clerical neglect, and of the consequent indifference 
of the people, lay in the fact that, owing to absenteeism and 
pluralism, one curate often had to serve more than one 
parish in order to earn sufficient to keep himself alive. And, 
naturally, all such things as the visiting of the sick, the 
catechizing of children, the attention to parish matters 
which had been so zealously carried out in the pre-Reforma- 
tion days, had by the middle of the eighteenth century 
almost entirely disappeared. Nevertheless, not all the 
clergy were self-seeking, careless, and time-serving. They 
were, probably, divided into three classes the worldly man, 
the idle and dissolute man, and the pious, good-living man. 
We have two excellent and immortal types of the two last 


classes in Fielding's novel of Joseph Andrews, published in 
February, 1742. Parson Trulliber is a coarse, brutish, 
avaricious, swinish man swinish in two senses, for he is 
little better than a hog in his own manners and appetites, 
and his chief delight is in breeding pigs : he has no charity, 
no piety, no fine feelings ; his one concern in life is his own 
stomach, his own pocket. Parson Adams is poor as a mouse 
in his own church ; generous and charitable from the very 
goodness of his warm-hearted, impulsive nature ; a scholar, 
who never goes abroad in his parish or on his excursions 
further afield without a volume of his beloved ^Eschylus 
in the pocket of his patched and tattered cassock ; he has a 
heart and an ear for every man's concerns, but whether he is 
rebuking the squire for laughing in church, or drinking a 
cup of ale in the squire's kitchen (few clergymen ever pene- 
trated beyond the kitchen in those days, and they often 
married the squire's cook out of it), he never forgets his 
dignity as the minister of Christ which he humbly endeavours 
to be. Such men as Adams there were by the score in the 
quiet places Goldsmith had one or other of them in mind 
when he drew his never-to-be-forgotten picture of the village 
pastor : 

A man he was to all the country dear, 

And passing rich with forty pounds a year ; 

Remote from towns he ran his godly race, 

Nor e'er had changed, nor wish'd to change, his place; 

Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power, 

By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour. 

Far other aims his heart has learnt to prize, 

More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. 

His house was known to all the vagrant train, 

He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain ; 

The long-remembered beggar was his guest 

Whose beard descending, swept his aged breast ; 

The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud, 

Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd ; 

The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, 

Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away; 

CHURCH LIFE : 1700-1750 in 

Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, 
Shouldered his crutch, and show'd how fields were won. 
Pleased with his guests, the good man learn 'd to glow, 
And quite forgot their vices in their woe ; 
Careless their merits or their faults to scan, 
His pity gave ere charity began. 

Of the various clergymen presented to the vicarage of 
Darrington after the Reformation there are few details 
available for any purposes of biography or history. In 1556 
the assignees of the Prior and Convent of Pontefract, in 
whom the patronage was then vested, appointed, on October 
T_7th, one William Fawcett to the living. From that time 
onward the patronage was vested in the Archbishops of 
York, in whose hands it still remains. Between 1590 and 
1754 the vicars of Darrington were Thomas Whitehouse, 
instituted July 3rd, 1590 ; Michael Waterhouse, March 26th, 
Z 593 > Daniel Lyndley, June 6th, 1608 ; John Broke, 
November i8th, 1608 ; Thomas Pullin, February I4th, 
1609 ; Richard Woodrove, January 26th, 1626 ; Daniel 
Hethfield, of whom no particulars are given ; Charles 
Proctor, August I5th, 1666 ; Richard Waugh, October 28th, 
1670 ; Samuel Briercliffe, December nth, 1679 ; Seth Agar, 
1714 ; and Robert Burrow, who was instituted October 7th, 
1717, and remained vicar until March, 1754. 

Of Robert Burrow, Vicar of Darrington during almost the 
whole of the first half of the eighteenth century, and, con- 
sequently, during the period when the fortunes of the 
Established Church were at their very lowest ebb, we know 
a great deal that is interesting. He was the son of Thomas 
Burrow, head of an old Kentish family, who, at the time 
Robert Burrow was born, was living at Clapham, which, 
in those days, was a village well outside London. There 
are no records of the future Vicar of Darrington's schooldays, 
but he duly proceeded to Oxford, where he was entered at 
Queen's College. Nor is there any record of what he did 


after that until he was instituted to his benefice of Darring- 
ton. His vicariate extended over thirty-seven years, and 
that he was not entirely an absentee vicar is proved by the 
fact that all his children were born and baptized there 
Robert, December 5th 1718 ; Christopher, May i8th 1722 ; 
James, July I7th 1723. Moreover, he restored, and largely 
built, what is now known as the old vicarage, facing, re- 
flooring, and re-roofing the ancient house which had done 
duty for something like three hundred years. He carried 
on a laudable practice which had been begun by his pre- 
decessor Agar that of entering in the parish register the 
callings of the persons whose names came to be inscribed 
there. From about 1715, therefore, we get some idea of 
what the people in the parish were doing in the way of work. 
Most of them, of course, were engaged in agriculture, but 
we find that in addition to farmers and labourers there 
were maltsters, house-carpenters, blacksmiths, weavers, and 
yeomen as distinct from farmers. Unfortunately, this 
practice fell into disuse after Burrow's death. 

Whether Burrow remained long at Darrington after his 
entrance there, the birth of his children, and the repair of the 
vicarage, is doubtful. There seems to be evidence that he 
employed the services of a curate as early as 1723, for on 
August 5th of that year a certain Reverend Mr. Charles 
Willets had his son Lyonel baptized in Darrington Church. 
But that may be explained by the fact that in 1723 Burrow 
was chaplain to Sir Gerard Conyers, Lord Mayor of London, 
and during his year of office probably resided in London : 
Willets, therefore, may have been a locum tenens for a year 
only. He certainly had curates at a later period, however ; 
one of them, Francis Drake, whose name first appears in the 
register in 1742, was son of Francis Drake, the learned 
doctor and antiquary of York, whose monumental work, 
Eboracum, was published in 1736. Drake, the curate of 
Darrington, was afterwards Vicar of Womersley, three miles 

CHURCH LIFE : 1700-1750 113 

away, and he was subsequently Fothergill lecturer at the 
parish church of Pontefract. It was probably during his 
curacy of Darrington that Burrow retired to York, where 
he spent the remaining years of his life. He appears to have 
been a man of some learning, and in the earlier years of his 
vicariate he published some books. In the British Museum 
Library there is a copy of a pamphlet of his which contains 
the sermon on " Civil Society and Government Vindicated 
from the charge of being Founded on and preserved by 
Dishonest Acts," which he preached before the Lord Mayor, 
Aldermen, and Citizens of London, at the Guildhall Chapel, 
on September 28th, 1723 the day of Sir Gerard Conyers's 
election. On the title page of this work its author styles 
himself LL.D., and he had for some time been known as 
Dr. Burrow. But though he was certainly a Master of Arts 
of Oxford, there is nothing in the University lists to show 
that he was entitled to assume a doctor's degree. In 1725 
he published another work a book called Meletemata 
Darringtoniana : an Essay on Divine Providence, and this 
was followed in 1726 by a Dissertation on the Happy Influence 
of Society merely Civil. In 1729 he preached the Assize 
Sermon at York. He does not appear to have used his 
years of retirement in any literary labour ; perhaps the 
genteel society of York afforded him sufficient occupation 
and amusement. There he died, about 1754-5, and was 
buried at Acomb, just without the city. The only memorial 
of him at Darrington is the coat-of-arms which he erected 
over the front door of the old vicarage when he restored it : 
its motto is Considerate Lilia. Those who consider the lilies 
are usually supposed to have small care for the goods of 
this world, but Robert Burrow left behind him a very 
handsome fortune. 



A THOUGH various trades and occupations are 
mentioned in the parish registers as being in 
operation at Darrington during the middle of the 
eighteenth century, agriculture was then, and has 
always been since the very earliest times, the main industry 
of the village. The man who is set down as a maltster in the 
register was probably one who carried on malting at Ponte- 
fract, where malting was the great trade of the town until 
about thirty years ago. The weaver was most likely one of 
the very last of the old village weavers, who wrought in their 
own houses. There is no evidence that any malt-kiln, even 
a small one which would be a building of some size ever 
existed in Darrington, and there has been no hand-loom in 
the parish for a good hundred years. All the trades outside 
farming were dependent upon farming ; the carpenter made 
the ploughs, carts, harrows, waggons ; the blacksmith did 
the ironwork when the carpenter had finished with the 
wooden parts. The only other trade ever known in the 
village was that of the stonemason. He built and repaired 
houses and cottages ; he was a monumental mason, too, 
and the memorial slabs and headstones and box-tombs in 
the churchyard came from his shed. 

In the eighteenth century farming in England gradually 
assumed a settled condition, and the eighteenth-century 
fanners owed much to the interest which began to be taken 



in science as applied to agriculture in the preceding century. 
Much of that interest is due to Charles the Second, who was 
not only an experimentalist in science himself, but did a 
great deal to encourage research and investigation. The 
last half of the seventeenth century produced a big crop of 
theorists books began to be published in which their writers 
set out particulars of new methods of farming. In Pro- 
fessor Arber's reprint of the booksellers' catalogues which 
were issued between 1668-1709 (an indispensable work to 
anyone who would know anything of the literature of that 
period) there are particulars of over one hundred books on 
Husbandry, and of many more dealing with sheep, cattle, 
and horses. What sort of books they were may be gathered 
from this copy of a title page : " Systemata Agricultures. 
The Mystery of Husbandry discovered. Treating of the 
several new and most advantageous ways of Tilling, Plant- 
ing, Sowing, Manuring, Ordering, Improving, of all sorts of 
Gardens, Orchards, Meadows, Pastures, Cornlands, Woods, 
and Coppices. As also of Fruits, Corn, Grain, Pulse, New- 
Hayes, Cattel, Foul, Beasts, Bees, Silk-Worms, Fish, etc. 
With an Account of the several Instruments and Engines 
used in this Profession. To which is added, Calendarium 
Rusticum, or The Husbandman's Monthly Directions. Also 
the Prognosticks of Dearth, Scarcity, Plenty, Sickness, Heat, 
Cold, Frost, Snow, Winds, Rain, Hail, Thunder, etc. And 
Dictionarium Rusticum, or, The Interpretation of Rustick 
Terms. The Whole Work being of great Use and Advantage 
to all that delight in that most Noble Practice. The Third 
Edition Corrected ; with one whole Section added, and 
many useful Additions through the whole Work. By T. W., 
Gent. [This was probably T. Worlidge, who wrote several 
books on farming matters.] Folio. Printed for T. Dring, 
and sold by R. Clavell at the Peacock in St. Paul's Church- 
yard, 1681." 

To the writers about farming, the theorists, succeeded the 


men who in the last years of the seventeenth century and 
throughout the whole of the eighteenth put the theories into 
practice. Between 1675 and 1800 England had many great 
apostles of high fanning men who set their brains to work 
to see what could be done with land which up to then had 
only been farmed on more or less elementary and primitive 
lines. The first of these was Jethro Tull, a man who was 
originally bred to the law, but who threw his wig and gown 
aside at an early period of his career, and betook himself to 
Oxfordshire, where he began farming experimentally. He 
invented the drill, using it first for clover, and afterwards for 
turnips and corn ; his great notion was that where you sow 
seeds by drilling you keep your land cleaner and freer of 
weed than you do if you sow broadcast. There is not much 
difference save in the actual making and arrangement 
between the drill of to-day and the drill which Jethro Tull 
first used two hundred years ago. After Tull came Lord 
Townshend. He, like Tull, forsook one career for another. 
He passed thirty years of life in the diplomatic service ; then 
he retired to his estate in Norfolk and began to experiment. 
His land was poor almost valueless : by mixing marl with 
sand he turned it into a valuable property. He invented 
the four-course system wheat for the first ; roots for the 
second ; barley or oats for the third ; grasses for the fourth. 
This system naturally tended to the better manuring of the 
land : it began to be followed in all parts of the country. 

Up to this time England had not been a great sheep- 
farming land in the old statistics about food, mutton is very 
rarely mentioned beef and bacon were the staple article, 
so far as meat was concerned. In a recommendation to the 
people of London to institute a no-meat day, approved by 
the Privy Council during the reign of Elizabeth, mention is 
made of the fact that in London alone 65,000 " beefs " were 
killed within a certain period but there is no mention of 
" muttons." About the time of Queen Anne, and well into 


that of the Georges, mutton was seldom seen on the table 
of folk who could afford whatever meats they liked. Beef, 
roast, boiled, salt ; veal ; gammon of bacon ; game ; fish, 
salt and fresh all these were on the board in plenty, but 
mutton was a rarity, though we hear of Andrew Marvell 
making his dinner off the remains of a blade-bone of mutton 
in or about 1665. Sheep, indeed, were not so much in 
evidence as oxen ; up to 1750 mutton always fetched a 
penny or a halfpenny a pound more than beef. The first 
English farmer to improve the breeding of sheep was 
Robert Bakewell, a Leicestershire yeoman, who at his farm, 
near Charnwood Forest, created what is now known as the 
Leicester breed, a heavy-wooled animal which has been 
further improved since his time. Bakewell's Dishley 
Leicesters speedily became famous ; his rams were sold far 
and wide, and it was said of him that he gave England 
two pounds of mutton for every pound she had previously 
produced. He was also a breeder of cattle, but in this 
department of farming he was soon afterwards excelled by 
his own pupil, Charles Colling, the first great breeder of 

Perhaps the greatest farmer of the eighteenth century 
whose work, indeed, extended well into the nineteenth was 
the famous Coke of Norfolk, who, at the age of twenty-four, 
succeeded to vast wealth and a widespreading estate at 
Holkham, in the northern part of that county. The estate 
was one of 3000 acres ; when Thomas William Coke (born 
1752, died 1842) came into it, it was so poor that old Lady 
Townshend, when she heard that Mrs. Coke was going down 
there, said to her that all she would see at Holkham would 
be one blade of grass and two rabbits fighting for it. There 
were no cattle whatever on the Holkham estate ; of sheep, 
such as there were could only be fed with difficulty. But 
the new owner was a man of ideas and of vast energy. He 
dug up the rich marl which lay beneath his sandy soil, and 


had it spread broadcast ; instead of following the foolish 
local practice of growing three white crops in succession, he 
began to grow two crops, and let the land lie in pasture for 
two years ; where there had only been a few sheep, he 
brought together a flock of 2500 Southdowns ; he intro- 
duced Devon cattle ; he planted hundreds of acres of oak, 
of Spanish chestnut, and of beech ; he reclaimed 700 acres 
of land from the sea. In 1778 he began the series of sheep- 
shearing gatherings which became famous throughout 
England as " Coke's Clippings " ; he kept them up until 
1821. At these, people came from far and near to enjoy his 
hospitality ; landlords, farmers, stewards, scientists, great 
folk from home and abroad ; at the last " Clipping " there 
were 7000 people present. Never was such a farmer as this 
Norfolk squire, who found his land only able to produce rye, 
and left it one of the best wheat-producing districts in 
England. He, like Lord Townshend, was one of the earliest 
exponents of the four-course system, and their example 
rapidly spread all over the country. Coke was six times 
offered a peerage, and refused the offer on every occasion ; 
but at last he consented, and in 1837 was created Earl of 
Leicester he was the first commoner elevated to the peerage 
by Queen Victoria. 

One result of the impetus given to farming in England 
by the labour of such men as these, and by the propagandist 
work of men like Arthur Young, who, between 1741 and 
1820, wrote much on new methods of agriculture, and intro- 
duced notable improvements from abroad, especially from 
France, was the creation of quite a new class of farmers. 
The farmer of the old days had been what would now be 
called a small man a working farmer who was little 
different from the day labourer who assisted him. With 
improved methods, better results, and an increase of profit, 
a superior class of practical agriculturist came into being, 
and in parishes like Darrington a new section of society was 


introduced. The new farmers were men of some capital ; 
instead of working themselves, they superintended the work 
of their labourers ; they needed, and got better and larger 
houses and more roomy buildings ; the farms themselves 
increased in size. Where there had been in one village a 
score or so of cultivators who were set down as husbandmen, 
there were now four, five, or six usually not more large 
farmers, holding from 300 to 600 acres apiece. These 
farmers of the new sort had considerable advantages over 
their predecessors. The vast increase in production ; the 
new markets made by the growing populations of the towns 
and cities ; the high prices obtained ; put money into their 
pockets at a rate vastly different to that at which it had 
dribbled into those of their grandfathers the consequence 
was a distinct heightening of the standard of comfort. 
Where the husbandman of the Stuart and Early Georgian 
periods had been content to live in primitive simplicity, and 
to fare on plain food, and to go about little better attired 
than a mere labourer, the new farmer wanted better clothing, 
better feeding, better furnishing. He was able to afford all 
these things and more : in spite of the high rents which 
naturally followed upon the improvement in farming, in 
spite of the serious weight of taxation, the farmer of the 
last years of the eighteenth century made money, and was 
an undoubtedly prosperous man. It is to that period that 
the large farmhouses of Darrington owe their origin with 
one notable exception, that of the old farmstead at Went- 
bridge, so many years in the occupation of the Spink family, 
which goes back, in its main architecture, to Tudor days, 
and is, in all probability, the oldest house in the parish. 

There was another cause for the increase of prosperity 
amongst farmers towards the end of the eighteenth century. 
The roads began to be improved. Until 1750 little had been 
done to mend matters in that way. The records of the 
various Quarter Sessions show that the parishes were for 


ever squabbling and quarrelling about repairs every parish 
did its best to spend as little money as possible, worked its 
hardest to shift expense on to some other parish, on to any- 
body who could be dragged in. The old methods of travel- 
ling were still in force. Nearly everybody who was forced 
to travel and it was only people who were forced to travel 
that did travel ; travelling for pleasure was almost unheard 
of performed his journey on horseback. There were 
scarcely any stage-coaches before 1750 ; private convey- 
ances were very few ; the chaise, afterwards so much seen 
on the improved roads, was still a new thing when John 
Gilpin's wife, and her sister, and the four children, set out 
in chaise and pair to The Bell at Edmonton. The packhorse 
and the goods-waggon carried most of the merchandise 
about the country ; the broad strips of grass, still to be seen 
on either side of the Great North Road between Darrington 
and Wentbridge, were trampled into mud in winter, and 
dust in summer, by the live stock which was being driven to 
fair and market. With the coming of the Turnpike Trusts, 
which eventually controlled over twenty thousand miles of 
roads, matters improved ; they improved still more when 
the stage-coaches began to run with regularity. One of the 
first roads to be so improved was the Great North Road ; 
by 1740 it had become a first-class road between London 
and Grantham ; between 1740 and 1760 it was improved 
right through Yorkshire and the Northern counties and as 
far as Edinburgh. It was at this period that Wentbridge 
and Darrington folk began to become familiarized with 
people from far-away places ; stage-coaches were passing 
north and south by day and night. And every stage-coach 
driver cursed Wentbridge with might and main, for if he 
was going south he had to climb the long hill from the bridge 
to the Blue Bell, and if he was going north he had to whip, 
drag, cajole his sweating beasts up that difficult piece of 
ancient highway which still exists, a grass-grown relic of the 


past, above the new cutting which was made, with infinite 
trouble and at great expense, just before the railways came 
to drive stage-coaches off the roads for ever. All this road 
improvement, this increased facility for carrying goods, 
produce, merchandise, was beneficial ; the country widened 
out, so to speak, and for the farmer there were new advan- 
tages which benefited him greatly. 

But while the landed proprietors and the tenant farmers 
increased in prosperity in the eighteenth century, the agri- 
cultural labourer went down in the social and economic 
scale. Ever since the Reformation the people of the villages 
had been steadily robbed ; the robbing process was still 
going on when George the Third came to the throne. They 
had been robbed of their religion ; robbed of their parish 
guilds ; robbed of their rights to snare rabbits on the 
common lands ; now, in the eighteenth century, they were 
robbed of their common rights over the unenclosed lands 
which remained. In almost every parish in England there 
was land whereon the poor man could feed his cow, his 
fowls, his pigs ; his forefathers had enjoyed that right for 
many a century. That right made all the difference between 
poverty and comfort ; it helped a man to eke out his wages, 
which, at any time, were small enough. But upon that 
right, upon these common lands, the new class of farmers, 
strenuously backed by their landlords, cast a covetous look. 
The demand for enclosure grew. It was insisted upon by 
lar^e farmers and great landlords to a House of Commons 
which represented little more than the landed interest. So, 
in the eighteenth century, enclosure of common land began ; 
within a hundred years no less than four thousand separate 
Acts of Parliament divided up amongst landlords, holders 
of church livings, and large farmers with special claims, 
six million acres of land which until then had belonged to 
the rural labourers. The robbery of three centuries was 


Every student of our economic history knows the result of 
this deliberate thieving of the poor man's rights. While 
landlords and farmers were men of prosperity at the end of 
the eighteenth century, the labourers of the villages were 
poverty-stricken to the last degree. More and more of them 
became paupers. There were so many paupers, indeed, 
that the parish authorities were perpetually squabbling 
about them. The great object of every overseer was to 
remove from his parish any person who did not belong to it, 
to guard against anybody coming into it who might acquire 
a legal settlement (which was gained by forty days' resi- 
dence), and, possibly, become chargeable to the rates. Con- 
sequently, the overseers of one parish were for ever going to 
law with the overseers of another over the ownership of 
paupers ; in one year alone 1815 the parishes of England 
spent more than 250,000 in fighting each other over such 
questions as whether John Smith, pauper, really belonged to 
Bullocksmithy or to Hogley-cum-Pogley. One pleasant 
and very common method of preventing people from getting 
a settlement in any parish was to pull down labourers' 
cottages the landlords were great sinners in that respect. 
But however much the accommodation of the people was 
narrowed, poverty continued to increase, and the difficulties 
about providing for the poor, and the bickerings between 
the overseers, as to the legal responsibilities for their relief, 
went on, and in spite of the Poor Law Amendment Acts of 
1834 an d I ^65, the condition of the rural population has 
never reassumed the healthiness which it possessed in the 
old days, when every man enjoyed his rights over the 
common land which was stolen from the people in the 
eighteenth century. 

No one who has known the parish of Darrington during 
the last forty years, and has been able to compare it with 
other entirely agricultural parishes of the same size and of 
similar situation, can have failed to notice a remarkable 


feature in it the scarcity of game. In comparison with 
estates of corresponding size, the two manors of Darrington 
and Stapleton have scarcely any game to show an American 
millionaire, desirous of renting an English country estate, 
in order to get even a moderate amount of shooting, would 
turn up his nose at either of them. Hares are few ; phea- 
sants are negligible ; partridges might be reckoned by the 
score even rabbits have to be looked for. The reason is 
one which has possibly not occurred to the people of to : day : 
it lies in the enormous amount of poaching which followed 
the enclosure of the common lands. The rural labourer, 
having been robbed of his ancient right to kill and snare on 
the common lands, having been robbed of the common lands 
themselves, set to work in the last half of the eighteenth 
century to rob the people who had robbed him. Never was 
there so much wholesale poaching and destruction of game 
in England as between 1750 and 1830, as a reference to the 
text of various Acts of Parliament will show. It became 
organised. There was a vast trade in poached game. Strong 
repressive measures were passed against poaching. And 
many a man who was expected to keep himself, a wife, and 
their children on six shillings a week, with no outside help, 
was sent to gaol for a year, and publicly whipped, for doing 
what his forefathers had done without interference from 


EVEN more serious than the social and economic 
disadvantages under which the village commun- 
ities lived in the eighteenth century was the utter 
lack of religion which was manifested on all sides. 
Religion in England, in the middle of that century, had to 
all intents and purposes become a dead letter. Catholicism 
was almost extinct ; where it existed amongst a few ancient 
families or in the back streets of some big city it was the 
object of hatred and persecution. Reforms within reform 
had created new bodies of religious persuasion ; the Act of 
Uniformity of 1662 had driven out of the Establishment 
two thousand clergy, to found new sects. Amidst the new 
diversity of opinion the country folk fared badly ; nearly 
all the clergy of learning and ability in the Establishment 
were to be found only in London and the great town parishes ; 
the country clergy were ill-educated, boorish in manner, 
careless in their duties ; such of them as held good livings 
put in a curate, and never went near the scene of his labours. 
Whatever virtue there was in Nonconformity did not flow 
to the rural communities not, at any rate, to those of the 
Northern counties. Consequently, in such villages as 
Darrington, religion, one hundred and fifty years ago, was 
at a very low ebb. " The majority of the people," says 
Dr. Tickner, in his recent Social and Industrial History of 
England, " were quite indifferent to questions of religion . . . 
large numbers of them were left without spiritual or moral 


guidance . . . the Church was making no effort whatever 
for their spiritual well-being. Thousands never entered a 
church. Sunday had become with many a day of cock- 
fighting, drunkenness and vice. In 1751 Bishop Butler 
lamented the general decay of religion in the nation ; the 
historian Hume described the English people as settled into 
the most cool indifference with regard to religion that was 
to be found in any nation in the world. Yet when matters 
had thus reached their worst, a large proportion of even the 
apparently indifferent remained at heart religious. Honest 
industry and respect for domestic life were still general 
amongst the middle classes and the poor. What was wanted 
was the revival of a practical religion, a fresh appeal to the 
emotions ; the people would quickly respond to earnest 
preaching of this sort from whatever source it came. Such 
was the pressing need of the time, and as so often happens 
the time produced the men who could satisfy the need." 

The men who were needed came ; they sprang up at 
Oxford ; in their work lay the seeds of the Oxford Movement 
of the succeeding century ; they, in their way, were direct 
precursors of the revival of Catholicism which followed the 
repeal of the Penal Laws, and has since made such progress 
on all sides. A little group of Oxford students, devoutly 
religious men, weary of the terrible apathy which they saw 
around them, earnestly desirous of turning their fellow- 
countrymen in the direction of personal religion, began 
about 1738 the movement which is known to history as the 
Methodist Revival. Three men stand out in the history of 
this wonderful movement as great leaders Charles Wesley 
as the writer of hymns which began to be familiar as house- 
hold words wherever the English language was spoken ; 
George Whitfield and John Wesley as preachers. In the 
North of England John Wesley was best known ; it is still 
common talk in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire how, in his long 
life, he preached more than forty thousand sermons ; thought 


nothing of travelling his ninety miles a day on horseback ; 
lived on a mere pittance, and distributed nearly all he had 
to poor folk in need. There is no necessity to enlarge on the 
labours of John Wesley and the early Methodists : we are 
only concerned with them here in relation to the village life 
which we are discussing ; nevertheless, let us hear what 
Green, one of the most unprejudiced and impartial of 
modern historians, has to say on the effect which those 
labours produced on our common English life. " The 
Methodists themselves/' he says, in his Short History of the 
English People, chapter x, section i, " were the least result 
of the Methodist revival. Its action upon the Church broke 
the lethargy of the clergy, and the Evangelical movement, 
which found representatives like Newton and Cecil within 
the pale of the Establishment, made the fox-hunting parson 
and the absentee rector at last impossible. In Walpole's 
day the English clergy were the idlest and most lifeless in the 
world. In our own time no body of religious ministers sur- 
passes them in piety, in philanthropic energy, or in popular 
regard. In the nation at large appeared a new moral 
enthusiasm which, rigid and pedantic as it often seemed, was 
still healthy in its social tone, and whose power was seen in 
the disappearance of the profligacy which had disgraced the 
upper classes, and the foulness which had infested literature, 
ever since the Restoration. But the noblest result of the 
religious revival was the steady attempt, which has never 
ceased from that day to this, to remedy the guilt, the ignor- 
ance, the physical suffering, the social degradation of the 
profligate and the poor. It was not till the Wesleyan move- 
ment had done its work that the philanthropic movement 
began. The Sunday-schools established by Mr. Raikes at 
Gloucester at the close of the century were the beginnings of 
popular education. By writings and by her own personal 
example Hannah More drew the sympathy of England to the 
poverty and crime of the agricultural labourer. The 


passionate impulse of human sympathy with the wronged 
and afflicted raised hospitals, endowed charities, built 
churches, sent missionaries to the heathen, supported Burke 
in his plea for the Hindoo, and Clarkson and Wilberforce 
in their crusade against the iniquity of the slave-trade. . . . 
The revival of the Wesleys (stirred) the very heart of 

Nonconformity of the Independent type had been 
strongly in force in the West Riding of Yorkshire ever since 
the Act of Uniformity 1662 but its work was almost 
entirely confined to the large towns and to the villages on 
the Lancashire border. But it had never made any head- 
way in the agricultural districts, and there is no evidence 
that, since the Reformation, any other form of religion than 
that of the Established Church had ever been known in 
Darrington until the first Methodist preachers came there. 
At what particular period of the eighteenth century the first 
whisperings of the new spirit reached Darrington it is 
difficult to find out. But Darrington is not many miles 
across country from Epworth in Lincolnshire, the home of 
the Wesleys, and Doncaster lies about half-way between 
them, and one may well believe that the news of John 
Wesley's having preached from his father's tomb in Epworth 
churchyard would be carried to Doncaster next market-day, 
and thence noised abroad all over the countryside. In 
John Wesley's journals there are only three references to the 
immediate neighbourhood of Darrington. On October loth, 
1745, having ridden southward from Newcastle, in the thick 
of the Young Pretender's rising, he came to Ferrybridge, 
" where," he says, " we were conducted to General Went- 
worth, who did us the honour to read over all the letters we 
had about us." On the i8th of March in the following year, 
again having come from the North, he was at Pontefract, 
but he only mentions the bare fact, and adds that he rode 
on to Epworth next day. There is nothing in the journal to 


show that he was in this district again until 1772. His entry 
of July 2Qth, however, shows that his followers had just 
built a chapel in that town. " I crossed over to Pomfret 
(properly Pontefract)," he says, " and about noon opened 
the new preaching-house there. The congregation was 
large, and still as night ; perhaps this is a token for good. 
Being straitened for time, I was obliged to ride hard to 
Swinfleet ; and I had strength enough, though none to spare. ' ' 
The first Methodist preachers who came to the villages 
adopted the methods of the Friars, and preached in the open 
street, or on the village green, or from a pile of stones on the 
wayside. As often as not they found themselves dragged 
before the justices, or thrown into the horse-pond, or beaten 
out of the place. This was the first stage ; the second was 
reached when some farmer gave them the use of his barn, 
or some piously disposed woman offered her kitchen. The 
third and respectable and, perhaps, because respectable, 
the least useful stage arrived when their adherents built a 
modest meeting-house. All these stages were passed 
through at Darrington. Whether the first apostles of the 
movement suffered here the indignities so lavishly meted 
out to their brethren elsewhere, such local archives as the 
parish possesses do not tell us they may have found them- 
selves in the stocks, or hustled away by the constable our 
forefathers had a pleasant trick (still preserved to us by 
savages) of manifesting intolerance by resort to force. But 
about the end of the eighteenth century, Methodism had 
become so respectable in Darrington that its adherents 
thought it high time to build themselves a chapel : a chapel 
was accordingly built. It remains to this day for the curious 
to examine as a good specimen of the village chapel of those 
days : a modest, unobtrusive four-square meeting-room, 
set away from the main street, and in the most obscure part 
of the village. Its interior, at the time of its use, was as 
modest as its exterior it closely resembled the typical 


Quaker place of assemblage. Everything in it was of a 
neutral tint a nondescript drabness prevailed on pulpit, 
benches, and the small gallery of pews. It was lighted by 
candles, set in queer old iron standards ; underneath the 
pulpit was a cupboard in which the candle-ends were 
treasured. Not until eighty years had mellowed its home- 
liness did instrumental music break on this primitive sanc- 
tuary ; then a harmonium was placed in a corner, to satisfy 
modern requirements, and if the people who lived round 
about did not enter as regularly as the Methodists desired, 
they could at any rate sit on the steps of their cottages and 
hear strains to which they had hitherto been unaccustomed. 
The first generations of Darrington Methodists were strict 
followers of John Wesley in one respect in which successive 
generations appear to have become heretical they followed 
his command not to separate from the Church. Up to 1870, 
at any rate, the majority of Darrington folk who attended 
the Methodist service on Sunday afternoons had punctili- 
ously visited the parish church on the Sunday morning 
they were, in fact, the best Churchpeople in the place at that 
time. Moreover, they went to church for such matters as 
baptism, weddings, and funerals most of them were com- 
municants. The Methodist service was a sort of after- 
dinner luxury. Most of these old-fashioned Methodists 
would have been scandalized had anybody told them that 
they were schismatics ; they regarded themselves as a 
species of gild or sodality attached to the Church : there 
are people who, despite the modern Methodists, believe that 
idea to have been in John Wesley's mind in establishing his 
societies and class-meetings. But those who start move- 
ments are seldom able to control them ; leaders of all move- 
ments die, and other leaders step into their vacant places. 
As time went on, the Darrington Methodists departed from 
the Wesleyan precept and asserted a distinct separation a 
generation sprang up which carefully absented itself from 


church and became notoriously chapel-going. Like Jeshu- 
run, it waxed fat, and began to scorn simplicity. The quiet 
old meeting-house, in which shepherds and ploughmen had 
preached their version of the Gospel, became too humble for 
this new race, and a chapel of ambitious design raised its 
front on the main street about the same time that the 
parish church underwent restoration. It doubtless satisfied 
its builders and designers but why ugliness in architecture 
and English dissent are invariably so closely allied, is a 
question which no one has ever answered, and it is a mighty 
pity that those who build new chapels in our villages do not 
try to keep ^their work in touch with its ancient environ- 


DURING the last half of the eighteenth century 
Stapleton again changed hands several times. 
In 1762 John Boldero, after a tenure of thirteen 
years, sold it to Edward, Daniel, and Edwin 
Lascelles. Edward Lascelles held it for seventeen years ; 
during that time he made great building improvements, 
and brought the Hall into something of its modern state. 
This Edward Lascelles, six years after he sold Stapleton, 
inherited the Harewood estates in succession to his cousin, 
Edwin Lascelles of Gawthorpe, Baron Harewood, on whose 
death that title became extinct. It was revived in Edward 
Lascelles's favour in 1796 sixteen years later, he was 
created Viscount Lascelles and Earl of Harewood. The sale 
of Stapleton in 1789 was between Edward and Edwin 
Lascelles and Charles Philip, sixteenth Baron Stourton. 
Here again came a brief era of improvement. Lord Stourton 
whose title had been in existence since 1448, and who was 
head of a family which had remained staunchly Catholic, 
fitted up what was at that time known as the old chapel for 
the services of his church, and it was at one period served 
by the Jesuit Fathers, who had a mission at Carleton, in a 
curious old building still in existence on Carleton Green, 
and a residence at the house still called Leipsic Lodge. He 
made further improvements in the Hall, and he is said to 
have planted a hundred thousand trees in the Park ; he is 


also celebrated as having been the last English country 
gentleman to keep a professional jester. His tenure of 
Stapleton, however, was just as brief as that of many of his 
predecessors ; he sold it in 1800 to another Catholic noble- 
man, Robert Edward, ninth Lord Petre, head of an ancient 
family more intimately connected with the South of England 
than the North. The Petre name occurs in various interest- 
ing and romantic passages of English history. One Lord 
Petre died in the Tower of London in 1683, a victim of the 
devilries of Titus Oates. Another figures in quite a different 
fashion in Pope's poem, The Rape of the Lock. The Lord 
Petre who acquired Stapleton, however, only held it for six 
years : in 1806 he sold it to Ellis Leckonby Hodgson. 
Nothing much need be said of him, but of his son, Thomas 
Bent Hodgson, a good deal used to be talked by old folk of 
fifty years ago, who remembered him and his doings very 
well. Thomas Bent Hodgson was a great sportsman, and 
from 1817 to 1826 was Master of the Badsworth Hounds. 
During his mastership he lived at Castle Farm, a homestead 
still in existence, which stands on an eminence just outside 
Stapleton Park, and commands an extensive prospect. He 
was further remembered for many years as having taken a 
victorious part in a notable election contest. In 1842 the 
important office of Registrar of the West Riding became 
vacant : Thomas Bent Hodgson, a Whig, fought for it 
against the Honourable Arthur Lascelles, a Tory. His 
great popularity as a hunting-man probably carried the day 
for Hodgson : he polled 1712 votes to his opponent's 1680, 
a nominal candidate, Mr. James Stephenson, receiving one 
vote only. A sister of this Hodgson, Mary Ellen, married 
the Reverend H. J. Torre, a descendant of Torre the anti- 
quary : at their residence, Snydale Hall, Thomas Bent 
Hodgson died suddenly in 1863. But the Hodgson tenure 
of Stapleton had come to an end many a long year before 
these events. Ellis Leckonby Hodgson sold it in 1814 to 

MANOR OF STAPLETON : 1762-1814 133 

Juliana Barbara, second wife and widow of the ninth Lord 
Petre, and she, two years later, conveyed it to her only son, 
the Honourable Edward Robert Petre. Under him Staple- 
ton entered upon the most exciting and adventurous years 
of its long history. 




F "^HE Honourable Edward Robert Petre, owner 

of Stapleton from 1816 to 1834, was certainly 

the most interesting of its long and varied list 

-^- of holders. In his day he was one of the best 

known men in England ; on Stapleton itself he left certain 

marks and impressions which it will take a long time 

to efface. His career was highly picturesque, and even 

sensational : it ended in comparative misfortune but the 

misfortune had a certain glamour over it. While ever 

Englishmen love a horse, a hound, and racing, the name of 

Mr. Petre of Stapleton is not likely to be forgotten. 

Mr. Petre was the son of Robert Edward, ninth Lord Petre 
(the former owner of Stapleton), by his second marriage 
with Juliana Barbara, daughter of Henry Howard of 
Glossop and sister of Bernard Edward, fifteenth Duke of 
Norfolk. On attaining his majority he came into a fortune 
usually said to have been 20,000 a year. He spent con- 
siderable sums in improving Stapleton Hall and its surround- 
ings. He built a handsome chapel, with a vestry attached 
to it ; this, when he sold the estate in 1834, was dismantled 
and was used for secular purposes, but has of late years been 
restored for use as a chapel-of-ease for Darrington Church. 
In addition to his activities in these directions, Mr. Petre 
took a considerable share in the public life of the county. 
He was High Sheriff of Yorkshire and Lord Mayor of York 
in 1830. He was elected Member of Parliament for York 



in 1832, as a Liberal in politics, but he only sat for one 
Parliament and did not seek re-election when the next 
General Election came in 1835. In 1829 he married Laura 
Maria, daughter of Lord Stafford : they had one daughter, 
who died in infancy. 

It was as a racing-man that Mr. Petre became famous in 
sporting circles in England. He began racing at a very 
early age. He had as a racing partner (the exact conditions 
of partnership between them are not easy to make out, but 
the connection was undoubtedly a close one) a man who in 
many respects was very much like himself Mr. Rodes 
Milnes, well enough known on the turf, and in fashionable 
circles in London, a hundred years ago. Mr. Rodes Milnes 
was the brother of Mr. Robert Pemberton Milnes, the father 
of the late Lord Houghton, and grandfather of the present 
Marquess of Crewe. He was a good type of the Society man 
of the days when George the Third had fallen into insanity 
and his precious son had assumed the Regency. Mr. Rodes 
Milnes was a great personal friend of the Regent, and of 
Beau Brummel, and of all the rest of the men about town, 
between the time of Waterloo and the death of George IV. 
He was a man of wit and of pleasant temper ; like most 
careless men, he was extravagantly hospitable and generous ; 
above everything he was a great patron of the turf. His 
was a familiar figure on all the racecourses ; it was also 
familiar enough in all resorts of gaiety in London and at 
York ; and wherever gambling went on, he was there. In 
an age which produced more spendthrifts than any period 
of our social history, he was one of the biggest plungers of 
his time, and his utter carelessness in money matters became 
proverbial. Once, having had a particularly good day on 
the Knavesmire at York, he and Lord Glasgow stationed 
themselves at a window of their inn and made every passer- 
by drink with them. Not even Harry Mellish himself, the 
famous squire of Blyth, who once lost 97,000 in a single 


sitting at Brooks's, and who took very little time to get 
through a princely fortune, was more careless than Rodes 
Milnes. And the end of Rodes Milnes, like that of Mellish, 
was ruin and bankruptcy. He came to it while his friend 
George IV was still disgracing the throne and disfiguring 
English life, and his brother, Mr. Robert Pemberton Milnes, 
very honourably and generously undertook to pay the 
spendthrift's debts, and in order to do it had to retire to the 
Continent and practise rigid economy for seven years. 

How far Rodes Milnes was mixed up with Mr. Petre in 
actual racing concerns is not clearly known. But between 
1820 and 1830 the Petre stables did great things. The 
success began in a queer fashion and the first big profits 
of it undoubtedly went to Rodes Milnes. In 1822 Mr. Petre's 
horse Theodore was a starter for the St. Leger at Doncaster. 
Theodore (by Woful out of Rosalind, who was Blacklock's 
dam) was a good bay horse of considerable sorts and speed, 
but he was so lame, and so obviously unfit, when brought 
out to run, that Mr. Petre there and then sold his book and 
all his chances on him to Mr. Milnes for 200. Some of the 
most extraordinary bets ever known were made about 
Theodore. One man laid a thousand guineas to five 
shillings against him : another laid a thousand pounds to a 
new walking-stick. Then, John Jackson, the famous 
jockey, who had been retained to ride Theodore, emphasized 
matters by bursting into tears at being asked to mount such 
a crippled beast. Mount and ride him he did, however ; and 
Theodore, after a good start, went ahead all through, and 
won by four lengths. Rodes Milnes is said to have cleared 
several thousands by his bargain : as for Theodore, he 
subsequently added to his laurels by winning important 
races at York, Manchester, and Edinburgh, 

But the great Petre success on the turf began in 1827. 
His entry for the St. Leger of that year included Matilda, 
a smart filly of the small order she only just reached 


14 hands as a yearling who was immensely popular with the 
North Country crowd, but had to meet a very formidable 
opponent in Mameluke, winner of that year's Derby, for 
whom John Gully, ex-prize-fighter, Member of Parliament, 
and country gentleman, had recently given 4000. How 
Matilda beat the Derby winner on the post after a ding-dong 
race has been stirringly recorded by Sir Francis Hastings 
Doyle in a well-known poem, the last four lines of which 
are very frequently quoted or misquoted 

At once from thirty thousand throats 

Rushes the Yorkshire roar, 
And the name of the Northern winner floats 

A league from the course and more ! 

This was the beginning of Mr. Petre's extraordinary run of 
luck in connection with the St. Leger it was continued by 
his victories in the two following years. In 1828, he won 
with The Colonel, a small short horse, of very fine speed, 
who, earlier in the year, had figured, with the Duke of Rut- 
land's Cadland, in the first dead-heat ever run for the Derby. 
In 1829 his chestnut colt Rowton completed the set of 
victories only once equalled in the history of the St. Leger, 
since its institution in 1776, by the successes of the Duke of 
Hamilton (then Lord A. Hamilton) in 1786-7-8. No owner 
has won the St. Leger three times in succession since 
Mr. Petre's day. 

To the victory of Matilda, in 1827, Stapleton owes one of 
its most interesting features. In commemoration of the 
filly's success, Mr. Petre built over the fine range of stables 
at the rear of the Hall, a turret, in which he placed a bell 
(used in his time for ringing the Angelus), and a clock, which 
was made by Berry of Pontefract. Over the weather-vane 
above the turret is a very life-like figure of Matilda, Robinson 
up, running at full stretch : the clock, furnished with very 
silvery chimes, still gives the time to anyone within a mile 


of it. In the stables beneath the turret, there were at one 
time a series of paintings, kit-cat size, which were supposed 
to be by the famous animal painter, John Frederick Herring. 
These have now been removed from the saddle-room to the 
house ; two of them are undoubtedly signed by Herring, 
and Herring was certainly at Stapleton during Mr. Petre's 
time, and at Stapleton painted for him several portraits of 
hunters. For Mr. Petre was a great hunting-man as well as 
an owner of racehorses, and in 1826 he was chosen Master 
of the Badsworth Hounds. He kept hounds at Stapleton ; 
at Stapleton, too, he brewed famous ale, and stored it in 
great vats, each of which bore the name of a celebrated 
horse. During his time, too, there was racing in Stapleton 
Park ; at one of these meetings a young j ockey was un- 
fortunately killed by his horse bolting under the trees, and 
the proceedings came to an end. And everything came to 
an end in 1834. Mr. Petre had held Stapleton during 
eighteen eventful years but it had to go, and he to go 
elsewhere He died in 1848, being at that time aged fifty- 



AGarraway's Coffee House, in Change Alley, in 
London, on the 30th May, 1833, Farebrothers, 
the famous auctioneers, offered for sale the 
Manor of Stapleton, its mansion, its gardens and 
pleasure grounds, its park, a thousand acres of land, and 
timber and plantations estimated to be worth twenty 
thousand pounds. No doubt the bills and papers which 
announced this sale described the old place in sufficiently 
glowing terms ; whether they set out that it had a history 
extending to Anglo-Saxon times we may doubt, for real 
estate is invariably judged by its present value and not by 
its history. However, such an estate was not likely to go 
a-begging in any market, and on the I5th March, 1834, a 
formal assignment of the Manor, and its considerable 
appurtenances, was made by the Honourable Edward Robert 
Petre to Henry Barton of Burton, in trust for John Watson 
Barton of Saxby, in Lincolnshire, which assignment was 
duly confirmed by deed on April 2nd, 1834. Stapleton thus 
came into possession of a family which has now held it 
eighty-three years. No other individual owner had held it 
so long since the days of Warren de Scargill. According to 
one of the many archaeological papers written at his leisure 
by the late Mr. T. W. Tew of Carleton, a great lover of 
antiquities and of local history, the new owners of Stapleton 
originally hailed from Cheshire, and in the eighteenth 
century were very prosperous merchants in Manchester. 



About that time, they became possessed of the estates of 
Swinton in Lancashire and Saxby in Lincolnshire. John 
Watson Barton, the purchaser of Stapleton, married Juliana, 
daughter of James Hope, of Edinburgh, and cousin of 
Mr. J. R. Hope, the close friend of Mr. Gladstone and 
Cardinal Manning, who by his marriage with the grand- 
daughter of Sir Walter Scott (whose name he added to his 
own) became possessed of the Abbotsford estate. Mr. John 
Watson Barton became a Justice of the Peace, and a 
Deputy-Lieutenant, but Stapleton had only been his six 
years when he died, in 1840. His son, John Hope Barton, 
M.A., Oxford (Christ Church), a magistrate, and High 
Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1863, married in 1872 Florence 
Mary Annabella, a daughter of Henry James Ramsden, 
of Oxton Hall, whose wife, the Honourable Frederica 
Selina Law, was the daughter of the famous Lord Ellen- 
borough. Four years after the marriage, Mr. John Hope 
Barton, then in the prime of life and vigour, died sud- 
denly in the hunting-field. He was at that time Master 
of the Badsworth Hounds an appointment of great distinc- 
tion in these parts, in which he had succeeded the famous 
Lord Hawke of Womersley, and which was subsequently 
filled, some years later, by his son, Mr. Henry John Hope 
Barton, the present owner of Stapleton. 



A)UT the time that George Stephenson was proving 
to an astonished world that henceforth men 
would travel by steam, a considerable piece of 
engineering of another sort was in process at 
Darrington. Ever since the stage-coaches began running 
regularly along the Great North Road, there had been much 
heart-burning amongst owners of horse-flesh and the coach- 
men about the difficult bit of highway which dipped suddenly 
into Wentbridge from the edge of the level lands at Dale 
Fields. In all the long stretch from London to the borders 
of Durham there was no piece of road of corresponding diffi- 
culty : not even the famous Gonerby Hill, near Grantham, 
said to be the steepest on the Great North Road, and duly 
commemorated as such in Scott's novel, The Heart of Mid- 
lothian, was so difficult, for whereas Gonerby Hill was of 
good surface, and a gradual, if terribly long, ascent, that of 
the Darrington side of Wentbridge was sharp, woefully 
steep for a quarter of a mile, and in bad condition. The 
long climb through the village street, on the south side of the 
River Went, was bad enough, but it was nothing to the 
abrupt burst on the north side. They had to keep relays 
of horses at Wentbridge to help the coaches and goods- 
waggons and family carriages up that hill, and it became a 
nuisance. And so, nearly one hundred years ago, they began 
the cutting of a new road, from the end of Dale Fields down 
to Wentbridge ; a stupendous task, which involved going 



through and deep into a great mass of limestone rock for 
something like three-quarters of a mile. And they had just 
completed this task, and the coach contractors and the 
coachmen and the guards and the passengers were blessing 
them for it, when the railways came, and drove coaches and 
post-chaises off the highways for ever. 

Since 1750 the traffic on the Great North Road had in- 
creased at a vast rate and to an enormous extent. Old 
people who were living in Darrington and Wentbridge only 
a few years ago used to tell tales of the constant going to 
and fro which existed up to 1845. when the last coaches ran 
through the two villages. According to them, the road was 
never free of traffic, and the various villages were what 
the railway stations are now. Darrington folk, of course, 
were close to one of the most important coaching centres 
Ferrybridge. Whoever visits Ferrybridge to-day will not 
fail to notice the big houses of the place great rambling 
vast-chambered places, which, although now made into 
tenements, have not and never can have lost the atmosphere 
of unusual spaciousness. These houses, with their adjacent 
stablings and coach-sheds, were all inns up to eighty years 
ago. All sorts of famous folk have stopped in them, for all 
people who could afford it in those more leisured times used 
to travel by day and take their ease in their inn by night. 
One traveller in particular was well known at Ferrybridge 
it was at the old house on the north side of the river, near 
the bridge, that Sir Walter Scott used to stop, and there 
that he had a famous meeting with one of his London 
publishers Ferrybridge being a convenient half-way house, 
as it were, between London and Edinburgh. The comfort 
and provision afforded by these wayside inns were of a 
vastly different nature to that given to modern travellers at 
our draughty railway stations ; instead of cheerless waiting- 
rooms, our ancestors found snug parlours and bright fires ; 
instead of ancient sandwiches and stale buns, they saw 


prime beef and well-kept mutton. All along the Great 
North Road the inns were famous for accommodation and 
comfort. There was The Falcon at Huntingdon : nothing 
could be better, unless it was its rival, The George, in the 
same town. There was The Bell at Stilton travellers 
would have been hard put to it to decide whether Stilton 
cheese or Stilton accommodation merited most praise. 
Then Stamford was full of good inns The George, perhaps, 
was pre-eminent amongst them. There was no man in 
England at that day who had not heard of the glories of 
The Angel at Grantham many a man's mouth watered at 
the mere notion of entering its ancient portals and taking a 
seat in its venerable oriel window. And further north there 
was The Crown at Tuxford long since gone and another 
Crown at Bawtry still left and a multitude of old-world 
hostelries in Doncaster, and there were the numerous inns 
of Ferrybridge, of which but one remains, and at Borough- 
bridge there was yet another Crown, which was so celebrated 
for its comfort, its food, and the geniality of its proprietors, 
that people used to make a point of staying at it whether 
such a stay was necessary or not. And before one got out 
of Yorkshire into the wilder country towards the Scottish 
border there was yet one more delightful wayside inn, The 
George at Catterick Bridge, which is little altered so far as 
wood and stone go at this day. 

There were no great inns of this sort at Darrington, for it 
was only a place though the most important place on the 
Doncaster and Ferrybridge stage, and there was no changing 
of horses nor getting down of passengers there. But its 
Crown Inn, at the cross-roads, had some post-chaise traffic, 
and there used to be a legend in the village that somewhere 
between 1830 and 1837 her late Majesty, Queen then the 
Princess Victoria, her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and a 
lady-in-attendance, took some refreshment in The Crown 
parlour, Jn the course of a journey northwards. It may 


have been so : one likes to think that it was so. But one 
gets on to surer ground at the old Bay Horse Inn 
at Wentbridge. That now a private dwelling-house, and 
for some years a farmhouse was a pretty busy place from 
about the time that Queen Victoria ascended the throne 
until 1874 not because of coaches and travellers, but 
through the needs of administrative justice. Here, in a 
large room still called or which was still called a few years 
ago the Justice Room, the magistrates of the West Riding 
held the Petty Sessions for the Upper Division of Osgold- 
cross, sitting every alternate Monday. Most of the cases 
brought before them were of a trivial nature a great many 
related to poaching, for poaching still went on hereabouts 
until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, by which 
time there was little game to poach. Hence the number of 
gamekeepers and game-watchers (the various village police- 
men always figured largely in the last category) in that 
period, and hence the ancient Fox Feast held at the Bay 
Horse as a convenient centre for the Badsworth Hunt 
district every year. For gamekeepers and game-watchers 
could also do much to keep up and preserve a supply of foxes, 
and it was good that they should be encouraged by an 
annual banquet of solid meats and sound ales to pledge 
themselves to the support of fox-hunting. 

But if the Justices who met at the Bay Horse in Went- 
bridge had, as a rule, nothing more serious than poaching 
to attend to, they certainly had, upon one occasion, a matter 
brought to their notice which was very much out of the 
common. Somewhere between 1830 and 1840 a tribe or 
group of gipsies, of exceptional physique, the men all very 
handsome, the women all uncommonly good-looking, used 
to haunt the neighbourhood of Barnsdale and Brockodale 
during the hunting season. As many as fifteen or twenty 
of them used to ride to hounds with the Badsworth ; the 
women, on these occasions, disported themselves in brown 


habits and large felt hats of the same colour, with feathers ; 
the men wore knee-breeches, blue stockings, silver-buckled 
shoes, and brown velvet jackets with gilt buttons. Men 
and women alike were fearless riders, and they were always 
well-mounted. The gipsy love of a good horse was illus- 
trated here in striking fashion. One of these people stole a 
horse, and he was detected and arrested. Thereupon his 
friends approached the magistrates sitting at the Bay Horse 
at Wentbridge and offered them a bag of gold, said to 
contain five thousand sovereigns, if they would refrain from 
committing the thief to York Assizes. This offer was, 
of course, refused ; the man was sent to York, convicted, 
and duly transported. After that, the gipsies disappeared, 
and their violins were heard no more at the country feasts 
and merry-makings, where, it appears, they had been in 
great demand. 


IN 1751 the Manor of Darrington passed from the 
Saviles to the Sotherons by the marriage of Sarah, 
sole surviving daughter of Samuel Savile, to William 
Sotheron. That marriage is thus recorded in the 
Darrington Register : " 1751. William Sotheron of Ponte- 
fract, Esq., son of William Sotheron of Pontefract, Esq r and 
Sarah Savile of Pontefract daughter of y e late Samuel Savile 
of Darrington Esq r were married w th Licence Feb. 13." 

The particular branch of the Sotherons to which Samuel 
Savile's heiress thus allied herself appears to have been 
settled at Pontefract for something like two hundred years ; 
they were folk of means and of standing, evidently increasing 
their status as time went on. But the reference to Sotherons 
in the old Yorkshire deeds, wills, charters, fines, are multi- 
tudinous ; they appear to have been as numerous, if not so 
famous, as the Saviles whose Darrington lands now came 
into William Sotheron's possession. It is impossible to 
trace out the various connections between the various 
branches of them. One finds allusions to Yorkshire 
Sotherons a long way back in history. At the time of the 
Poll Tax of 1378 a Richard Sotheron, tailor, and Alice his 
wife, paid sixpence for his tax at Wadworth, in the Wapen- 
take of Tickhill. Seventy years before that a John de 
Sotheron lived at Wakefield, and was frequently fined 
(according to the Wakefield Court Rolls) for allowing his 
servant-maids to gather sticks, and for letting his pigs 



escape. Similar references to these are to be found in 
various records and registers. The Leeds Parish Church 
Register records that on October 31, 1579, Alexander 
Sotheron, Procter of the Spittlehouse at Beamsley (Wharfe- 
dale) had two children, Johan and Francis, buried on the 
same day. In the Adel Registers there are several entries 
relating to the baptisms, marriages, and burials of Sotherons 
between 1626 and 1668. In the Testamenta Leodiensia 
(Wills of Leeds, Pontefract, Wakefield, and Otley) it is 
recorded that in 1541 Thomas Forrest of Leathley (Wharfe- 
dale) left 6s. 8d. to his son-in-law, Richard Sotheron. There 
were Sotherons living about York in 1748 and 1749 ; two 
marriages of folk of their name are entered in the Minster 
Registers. Long before that, in the I5th year of the reign 
of King Henry VIII, a John Sotheron lived in the parish of 
St. Olave in York, and being worth forty shillings in goods, 
paid twelve-pence to the Subsidy levied on the York and 
Ainsty District. In the particulars of the Visitation of 
Yorkshire in 1584-5 and 1612 there is mention of a Margaret 
Dawson of Spaldingholme being married to Marmaduke 
Sotheron of Holme in Spaldingmoor. In 1577 a William 
Sotheron was one of four plaintiffs in a case brought against 
John Cartell deforciant respecting a messuage with lands in 
Holme in Spaldingmoor : he was concerned in similar cases 
in 1597 and 1601, and again, in company with John Sotheron 
in 1604. In the last-named year, a Robert Sotheron was 
one of several plaintiffs against Nicholas Foxe, gentleman, 
in respect of property at Ampleforth. From 1608 to 1614 
various legal proceedings took place between William 
Sotheron of Holme and his (apparent) neighbours as to the 
ownership of property. There are several references to 
Sotherons in the Calender of Inquisition for the County of 
York, in the Public Record Office in London ; they are 
mentioned therein as being of North Dalton or of Salton. In 
the Wills of the York Registry there are quite a number of 


Sotheron entries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
The places named therein are many : Kirkby Overblow, 
Cottingham, Beverley, Seaton, Harthill, Rowley, Goodman- 
ham, Sandal (near Pontefract), Clifford (near Bramham), 
Killingley, Brampton but chiefly Holme, in Spaldingmoor. 
There is a reference to his friend Thomas Sotheron of Holme, 
gent., in the will of Peter Millington of Holme, made April 
8th, 1658. A John Sotheron was in occupation of land in 
Kingston-upon-Hull, holding it of James Watkinson, 
merchant, in 1645, when its owner had to compound for it 
to the Parliament. But one might multiply these refer- 
ences almost ad infinitum. There are more in the Yorkshire 
Lay Subsidy (Yorkshire Archaeological Society's Record 
Series, vols. xvi and xxi), in the Early Yorkshire Schools 
(the same series, vol. xxvii), in the Index of Wills from the 
Dean and Chapter's Court at York (the same series, vol. 
xxxviii), in the Yorkshire Star Chamber Proceedings (the 
same series, vol. xli), and still others in volumes xli, xciii, 
ci and civ of the Publications of the Surtees Society. All 
these are particulars of wills, probates, fines, seizures, 
and the like ; they are chiefly interesting to the antiquary. 
But as regards the direct connection of the earliest 
Sotherons with their modern successors who acquired Dar- 
rington by the Savile marriage, the following particulars, 
furnished to the writer by the Reverend Francis Wrangham, 
are of great interest : The Sotherons apparently date back 
through the de Mittons, Lords of Mitton, on the York- 
shire-Lancashire border, to the Norman Conquest. Their 
ancestor was Ralph de Mitton. His descendant Sir Roger 
was the direct forbear of the Sotherons through his son 
Sir John de Southern, Lord of Mitton, and steward to 
Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I. His grandson, Sir Robert 
de Southern, inherited the lordship of Mitton. The son of 
this Robert, Thomas, also Lord of Mitton, had a son whose 
name is not known, who married Joanna, daughter of Sir 


Simon Cusack, in the reign of Edward III. In the will of 
1436 there is mention of a Robert Sotheron, of Durham, 
who had two sons, William Sotheron, clerk, and Sir Robert 
Sotheron, knight, of New Elvet. Sir Robert Sotheron's 
son, Rowland, had two sons, Sir William and Lewis ; Lewis 
became a Captain in the Royal Navy of his time and com- 
manded the Elizabeth of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1513-1517. 
His grandson, William Sotheron, was in his day a well- 
known merchant -venturer of Newcastle. He, in all prob- 
ability, was the direct ancestor of the Sotherons of Holme 
on Spaldingmoor, who subsequently had a lengthy connec- 
tion with Pontefract, and eventually came into possession 
of Darrington manor by the marriage of William Sotheron, 
of Pontefract, to Sarah Savile, of Darrington. From 1751 
onwards there was considerable close connection between 
the Sotheron family and Darrington. The parish register 
contains several references, the baptisms of various children 
born to William Sotheron and Sarah Savile ; the death of 
William Sotheron in January, 1790, and of his wife in 1797. 
Their son, another William Sotheron, died in February, 1806. 
Two years later a marriage took place in Darrington Church 
which brings us to the penultimate stage of the history of the 
ownership of Darrington manor. It is there entered in the 
register : " 1808 Octb. Frank Sotheron, Esq r of the parish 
of Kirklington in the County of Nottingham and Caroline 
Matilda Barker of this parish. Licence. Witns. Robt. 
Ray, Louisa Barker, Ann Ray/' The Frank Sotheron here 
referred to was an officer of high rank in the Royal Navy. 
He received the thanks of Parliament in 1799 for his ser- 
vices in connection with the attack against the Batavian 
ships in the Helder Channel ; in 1802 he commanded the 
battleship Excellent in the Mediterranean Fleet under Lord 
Nelson, who entrusted him with the defence of the Bay of 
Naples, and he became Admiral of the Blue in the days 
when our fighting ships used to be divided into the White 


Fleet, the Red Fleet, the Blue Fleet. His bride was the 
daughter of a Captain Barker of Darrington. They had only 
one child, Lucy Sarah, who was born May 23rd, 1811. By 
her marriage with Thomas Henry Sutton Estcourt, 2ist 
August, 1830, the Darrington estates passed into the hands 
of a well-known South of England family. 

Members of the Estcourt family did many things of note 
during the later Georgian days and the Victorian era. They 
had a close connection with Oxford University. Mr. T. G. B. 
Estcourt, a Corpus Christi man, was elected Member of 
Parliament for Oxford University in Hilary Term, 1826, 
as colleague of Sir Robert Peel. Dr. Pusey refers to his 
possible election in a letter dated February 5th, 1826 : "If 
Mr. Estcourt is elected," he writes, " we shall have a 
thoroughly respectable country gentleman, of respectable 
talents also/' Mr. T. G. B. Estcourt continued to represent 
Oxford University until 1847, when he retired : his successor 
was Mr. Gladstone. Mr. T. H. S. Estcourt, who added the 
name of Sotheron to his own on his marriage with Admiral 
Sotheron's daughter and heiress, had a somewhat more 
prominent career in politics. He represented Devizes in the 
House of Commons for some time ; he was a Privy Coun- 
cillor ; in 1859 he was Home Secretary in Lord Derby's 
second administration. There is an interesting reference 
to him in one of Cardinal Newman's letters to J. W. Bowden, 
or, rather, in a note appended to the letter at a later period. 
" When the See of Salisbury was vacant in 1837," writes 
Newman, " it was said at the time that Mr. Sotheron- 
Estcourt (Conservative) went to Sir Charles Wood (Whig, 
and in the Ministry), both Oriel men, and said, Why not 
make E. Denison (a third Oriel man and their contemporary) 
the new Bishop ? and that Lord Melbourne seized and acted 
upon their suggestion." 

Mr. T. H. S. Sotheron-Estcourt's younger brother, 
James Bucknall Estcourt, had a distinguished military 


career. Entering the Army as an ensign in 1820, and almost 
immediately exchanging from the 44th Foot into the 
43rd Light Infantry, he obtained by purchases his Lieuten- 
ancy in 1824 and his Captaincy in 1825. In 1834 ne was 
second-in-command in the Euphrates Expedition, and two 
years later bought his majority. In 1839 ne was rewarded 
for his services in the Euphrates affair by a Lieutenant- 
Colonelcy. In 1843 he was appointed one of the Com- 
missioners for settling the boundaries between British 
America and the United States, and from 1848 to 1852 he 
represented Devizes in the House of Commons. On the 
outbreak of the war with Russia he was gazetted Adjutant- 
General of the Crimean Army, and in 1854 became holder 
of the brevet rank of Major-General. He was a strong 
advocate of reform of the commissariat and transport 
service, and frequently wrote vigorous letters on these points 
to Sidney Herbert (Lord Herbert of Lea), who was then War 
Secretary. Lord Raglan said of him, in a dispatch dated 
January 23rd, 1855 : " General Estcourt and General Airey 
(respectively Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General 
at the time) work incessantly/' Attacks were made upon 
General Estcourt by critics at home, but he considered them 
unjust. " I may be inefficient in comparison with many 
another man," he wrote to Sidney Herbert, " but I have not 
been negligent." Negligent he certainly was not ; he was, 
as Lord Raglan said, a tireless worker, an enthusiastic sup- 
porter of Florence Nightingale and her helpers, and in- 
cessant in his efforts to secure more comfort for the wounded. 
Six months after Lord Raglan mentioned him in the dispatch 
just quoted from, he was attacked by cholera, and he died 
in the Crimea, June 24th, 1855, just as the title of K.C.B. 
was about to be conferred upon him. Another member of 
this family, the Reverend Edgar Edmund Estcourt, achieved 
distinction in another field. The eldest son of the Reverend 
Canon Edmund William Estcourt, Rector of Long Newnton, 


Wiltshire, he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, in 
1834, at the age of eighteen, graduated B.A. in 1838 and 
M.A. in 1840, and five years later formed one of the large 
band of distinguished Oxford men who became converts 
to the Roman Catholic Church. From 1850 he was a Canon 
of the Diocese (now Archdiocese) of Birmingham, and for 
many years was in charge of the Roman Catholic Mission 
in Oxford. It was to him that Cardinal Newman addressed 
the noteworthy letter of June 2nd, 1860, on the question of 
building a new Roman Catholic church at Oxford. ' The 
Establishment," writes Newman, in the course of this letter, 
" has ever been a breakwater against Unitarianism, fanati- 
cism, and infidelity. It has ever loved us better than 
Puritans or Independents have loved us. And it receives 
all that abuse and odium of dogmatism or, at least, a good 
deal of it which otherwise would be directed against us. I 
should have the greatest repugnance to introducing con- 
troversy into those quiet circles and sober schools of thought 
which are the strength of the Church of England." 

Mrs. T. H. S. Sotheron-Estcourt, last of the Sotherons, 
died in July, 1870, and was buried at Shipton Moyne, the 
parish church of Estcourt, in Gloucestershire. After her 
death, Mr. Sotheron-Estcourt visited Darrington on at least 
one occasion ; in the chancel of the church he caused to be 
placed a very fine monumental tablet, to preserve the 
remembrance of his wife in " this parish which she loved as 
her natural home." Upon his own death the estates passed 
to his nephew, Mr. G. T. J. Sotheron-Estcourt, one time 
M.P. for North Wiltshire, who was created first Baron 
Estcourt of Darrington in 1903. He died in 1915, leaving 
no heir to the title, and the estates are now in possession 
of the Reverend E. W. Sotheron-Estcourt. 

DARRINGTON: 1835-1875 

BETWEEN the days of Robert Burrow, Chaplain 
to my Lord Mayor and writer of ponderous essays, 
and those in which Church life revived, a hundred 
and thirty years later, Darrington had four 
vicars, not one of whom appears to have had much inclina- 
tion to revive anything. On March 2nd, 1754, John Jones 
was instituted ; on January 24th, 1791, George De Smeth 
(Desmith or De'Smeth) Kelly ; on May ist, 1851, John 
Chaloner ; on April 25th, 1831, George Pease. Mr. Pease, 
who came of a well-known East Riding family, held the 
living for forty-four years. There are many people still 
living in the parish, or in its vicinity, who remember him : 
the writer cherishes a keen recollection of seeing him in the 
old pre-restoration pulpit in his black gown and divinity 
bands. He was a quiet, highly respectable, eminently safe 
clergyman of a school which has become almost, if not quite, 
extinct ; his character and performance as a parish priest 
may be summed up in what was said of him by a labourer 
when he resigned the cure in 1875. " 111 say this for t'owd 
parson," observed this a somewhat shrewd man ; "he 
niver bothered us about wor souls." Nevertheless, certain 
improvements of a material nature were made about the 
beginning of Mr. Pease's time. Some amount of repair was 
done to the parish church ; it was then, no doubt, that the 
horse-box pews were introduced, and furnished with hassocks 
and cushions, and that yet another coat of plaster and 


another layer of whitewash was put on the walls ; whether 
the village instrumentalists, the fiddler, the man who offici- 
ated on the double-bass, the manipulator of the serpent, 
the flautist, who in later Georgian days sat in the middle 
gallery of the tower the Royal Arms displayed beneath 
them lasted into the new vicariate, one cannot say with 
certainty. But the old vicarage came to be considered out- 
of-date, and Mr. Pease entered into a new one, built in a 
park-like expanse on a pleasant sloping ground to the west 
of the village. 

The forty-four years' incumbency of this last of the old 
type of parson men who remained untouched by Oxford 
Movements, Catholic Revivals, Methodist stirrings covered 
the most characteristic part of the Victorian era. We can 
gain a very good idea of what Darrington and Darrington 
people were like during that time by remembering what our 
fathers have told us. Between 1832 and 1875 many great 
things happened in England. There was the Reform Act ; 
there was the Repeal of the Corn Laws ; there was the great 
and marvellous transformation in the Established Church ; 
there was the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy ; there 
was the Crimean War ; there was the Indian Mutiny. The 
Great Exhibition was held ; the Newspaper Tax was taken 
off ; almost every Tom, Dick, and Harry received the Fran- 
chise ; Education came within the reach of all. But none 
of these things actually happened in Darrington to listen 
to what used to be told one by the people who lived in 
Darrington in those days nothing ever happened there at all : 
nothing, that is, beyond the usual incidents of village life. 
The years came and went ; people sorrowed and rejoiced ; 
some came into the world and some went out and to all of 
them, anything beyond the parish boundaries was, as it were, 
in a very far-off planet. 

Nevertheless, from what we have heard with our ears and 
our fathers have told us, we can gain a comfortable notion 

DARRINGTON : 1835-1875 155 

of what life was in the village in the 'thirties, the 'forties, 
the 'fifties, the 'sixties, the early 'seventies of the wonderful 
nineteenth century : of the remaining decades we ourselves 
can speak from personal knowledge. And to begin with the 
farmers, the old substantial men who have slept for many a 
year in the ancient churchyard : They were not averse to a 
little grumbling about bad times ; they were afraid of the 
Radicals, and especially of Mr. Cobden ; they said, now and 
then, that the country was going to the dogs, and they shook 
their heads in regret of the good old days (which, of course, 
were utterly and irredeemably bad from their standpoint, 
at any rate, only they did not know it) and they exchanged 
dark confidences over pipe and glass but they made money 
In spite of the repeal of the Corn Laws, in spite of high rents, 
heavy rates ; in spite of everything, all farmers as a whole 
made money between 1840 and 1870. That fact can be 
proved by a careful which need not be an exhaustive 
examination of wills proved in that period by farmers' 
executors. Our particular farmers were no exception. The 
Darrington farmer of that time was a comfortable man, a 
warm man, as the saying goes. He ate well, slept well, lay 
snug. He rode his horse or his pony round his land morning 
and afternoon ; he dozed over his hearth at night, or 
he gossiped with his neighbour. He drank so many glasses 
of beer, or so many of gin no whisky in those days, unless 
it was Irish before he went to bed ; he had a certain allow- 
ance of these liquors when he went to market on Saturday ; 
Saturday night, at home, he treated himself to an extra glass. 
But he was in the horse-box pew on the Sunday morning, 
and if he said with his lips that he was a miserable sinner, 
we may be quite sure that he qualified the confession in his 
heart of hearts, for he was an innocent being, and had got 
nothing to be miserable about. The labouring folk, too, 
of that period, had no great reason to be miserable. They 
were in steady work ; their wages were good ; their rents 


were nominal ; most of them kept a pig ; some of them had 
fairly large gardens ; the allotments called Spring Gardens 
had come into being : the village working-man, indeed, 
had got something of his own back. Certainly, there were 
many poor folk, for even at that time no one had shown 
villagers how to be thrifty. But few of them went to the 
hated workhouse when it came into being, though many had 
outdoor relief brought to them by the relieving officer. 
Moreover, amongst the farmers, from all that one hears, 
there was a goodly spirit of charity towards their dependents. 
There was little, if any, actual poverty in the village. The 
present writer some years ago asked an aged Darrington 
woman, of exceptionally good memory, if she could tell him 
of any time in the old days the 'forties and 'fifties when 
things were bad for poor folk. After thinking for a long 
time, she replied that during the time of the Crimean War 
lump sugar was uncommonly dear she could think of 
nothing else. 

But there were drawbacks and disadvantages. A great 
many of the Darrington cottages were very old, and being 
old, they were very damp. It was quite usual, even in the 
'nineties, to see the moisture running down the walls in rivu- 
lets. Consequently, most of the people suffered from rheu- 
matism. A procession of aged folk would have revealed 
sad evidence of this. Old men pottered about on two sticks ; 
old women got fixed in elbow-chairs and refused to move 
out of them. Even the young and vigorous contracted 
rheumatism and muscular ailments at an early age. Now- 
adays we are told that rheumatism does not arise from damp 
or cold ; if that is so, then these Darrington people of sixty 
and seventy years ago suffered from chronic stiffness which 
began early and ended at death. 

The general health of the people in those days was just 
about as good as it always is in places where the average life 
is lived out of doors for fourteen hours of the twenty-four. 

DARRINGTON: 1835-1875 157 

But now and then there were epidemics. People used to 
talk of the time when the scarlet-fever came, or when the 
diphtheria was bad, or when they were all down with the 
typhus. There is no wonder. An open ditch ran down 
one side of the long main street ; the water looked clear and 
even sparkling, and the women used to fill their kettles with 
it nothing easier than to step out of your door and dip your 
pot in. But there was death in that water, and there was 
death in a good many of the wells, which were sunk in close 
proximity to cesspools and the drainage of the farmyards. 
And so zymotic disease flourished now and then in Darrington 
until modern common sense and better knowledge closed in 
the open ditch, examined the wells, and finally set up a 
proper water supply. 

Education in those days was in a very elementary condi- 
tion in more senses than one. A fine new school building 
had been set up over against the old Tithe Barn, and thither 
the children carried their twopences every Monday morning. 
But it was a poor twopennyworth which they received 
between then and Friday evening. They learned their 
catechism, and a few prayers, and half a dozen hymns ; they 
made some acquaintance with reading, and writing, and 
rudimentary arithmetic, and as most of them left school as 
soon as they could do anything which would bring in three 
shillings a week, they had forgotten by the time they were 
fifteen that they had ever been to school at all. As for the 
older folk, very few of them could read or write. They had 
never had the chance to acquire learning. They used to 
talk of some Dame school whereat scholarship could be had ; 
one heard in the 'seventies of an old man who kept a school 
in the 'twenties. But the percentage of illiterates was a 
very high one, and a man who could spell out the simple 
passages in the local newspaper was considered a great 
scholar. No better evidence of the prevalent illiteracy 
could be found than in the fact that at the little Methodist 


chapel, well into the 'seventies, it was the practice to give 
out the hymns two lines at a time, scarcely any of the people 
present being able to read their hymn-books though they 
invariably carried one, in company with a clean, lavender- 
scented pocket-handkerchief. Many years before that the 
same practice had obtained at the parish church, but in the 
forty years previous to 1875 scarcely any of the poor folk 
ever went to church those who did were placed in the far 
corners under the old galleries, on the principle that only the 
quality, their servants, and the farmers, should be seen in the 
Lord's House. 

There was very little crossing of the parish boundaries in 
those days, despite the arrival of the railways, two lines of 
which had come within a few miles of Darrington by 1850. 
It was only the farmers as a rule who went to market. 
If any of the poor folk went anywhere, at any time, it was 
the younger section, who repaired about Martinmas to one 
or other of the neighbouring statute-hiring fairs. It was the 
accepted thing to stay at home. Thirty years after the 
coming of the railways many Darrington people had never 
seen a railway line nor a railway engine. There were several 
people living in the village in the 'seventies who had literally 
never been out of the parish. Young labourers and young 
servant-maids who became hired out to places, say, beyond 
Doncaster, were wept over at their departure as if they were 
emigrating to America. There were no jaunts, no excur- 
sions, no half-day trips to football matches at Wakefield or 
pantomimes at Leeds. Only the farmers' wives and 
daughters went anywhere. It became the fashion for them 
to spend a fortnight at Scarborough or Bridlington, just as 
it became the fashion for their parlours to be furnished with 
a piano, to the accompaniment of which the daughters sang 
sentimental songs on weekdays and hymns on Sundays. As 
for the farmers, they never went anywhere for pleasure 
unless they were driven thereto by pain. When the twinges 

DARRINGTON : 1835-1875 159 

of gout or the rackings of rheumatism became too unbearable 
they went to Harrogate or to Askern to drink the sulphur 
waters and try the baths. If by any chance they were 
obliged to go far afield on business, or to give evidence in 
London on some law case, they made their wills before 
starting out. That was regarded as a dire necessity. No 
properly conducted Englishman ever made his will except 
in sight of death or danger as everyone knows who has had 
to do with the reading of many wills and the comparison of 
dates of execution and probate. 

In spite of all the light and learning and intellectual im- 
provement which according to some people came into the 
country with all the other blessings of the Reformation, the 
village folk of the Victorian era were full of superstition. 
Up to 1850 Darrington women used to send to a certain wise 
woman who resided at Cattle Laith, on the borders of the 
parish, for charms to make the cream gather in the churn. 
Not long before that the people used to buy charms to cure 
toothache, to ensure the satisfactory birth of foals, lambs, 
and calves ; even the farmers of George the Third's time 
used to fee a certain wise man of the neighbourhood lest he 
should send a blight on the crops. These members of the 
Middle Victorian family cherished a firm belief in the Bar- 
guest, a dog-like animal with lamp-like eyes, which could be 
either a protecting spirit or an evil one. They were just as 
firmly convinced that whoever saw a White Rabbit cross his 
path would die within a few hours. Some of the old women 
practised divination with a key and the family Bible ; others 
were still acquainted with the use of the sign of the Cross, 
and would repeat the Lord's Prayer backwards under stress 
of fear. Ghosts and goblins were universally feared, and 
he would have been a brave man who dared to enter the 
churchyard late at night. 

The great events of village life in those days were the 
weddings and the funerals but the weddings paled in 


comparison with the funerals. The weddings were chiefly 
interesting to alien spectators, for the bridegroom was 
almost invariably attired in the garments which his father 
and grandfather had worn at their weddings, and had been 
kept in lavender in the family chest until further occasion 
offered. But the funerals interested everyone. Nearly all 
the old English customs were in evidence in Darrington up 
to 1875 the passing bell, the watching of the body, the 
lying-in-state and viewing of the body, the bidding of guests, 
the funeral feast. There was prodigious waste of money 
the funeral of a well-to-do farmer cost a considerable sum, 
for everyone expected to eat and drink of the best, and to be 
presented with scarves, gloves, hatbands, and handkerchiefs. 
Even the poor spent on a funeral what would have kept a 
working-man's family for half a year. These customs were 
hard to kill in such out-of-the-world parishes as this was 
then, burial reform, when it came to be advocated, met with 
scant approval. It was considered dishonouring to the dead 
not to inter him to the accompaniment of much crape- 
wearing and Gargantuan consumption of beef and beer. 

All through this Middle Victorian period the old customs 
were kept up in Darrington. Pancakes were eaten on 
Shrove Tuesday ; collops of bacon on the following Thurs- 
day ; on May 2gth Royal Oak day every child wore an 
oak-sprig and claimed holiday from the schoolmaster ; egg 
garlands (the eggs of wild birds strung on cord, after being 
blown) were hung over the cottage-doors in spring. At the 
village feast (the first Monday following the Festival of 
St. Luke, patron saint of the parish) everybody kept open 
house, and folk came from far and near to rejoice with rela- 
tions and friends whom they never saw but on this occasion. 
At Christmas all the old festivities were kept up, beginning 
on St. Thomas's Day, December 2ist, when the women went 
Thomasing collecting money from their betters. Troops 
of boys and young men went round mumming ; children 

DARRINGTON: 1835-1875 161 

carried round an image of the Holy Child ; elder children 
went a-wassailing, singing the old carols. Boys went from 
house to house on Christmas morning, chanting the old 
Nominies : the girls followed on New Year's Day. There 
was little difference between the things still done and the 
things that had been done hundreds of years before but 
that little difference was a great one, for all the religious 
significance and association of their ceremonies and customs 
had long since died out of them. Not one person in a 
hundred knew what the meaning was of the Figure which 
the children carried in the box ; not one in two hundred 
knew why the village feast was kept ; all they knew was 
that these things had always been done, and that it was 
pleasant to keep them up. There were some other customs 
which were not pleasant that were kept up until the last 
quarter of the century. The barbaric Stang-riding Skim- 
mington-riding in other parts of the country was one of 
them : its last celebration in Darrington, in the 'seventies, 
was suppressed by the police, greatly to the indignation of 
the villagers, who much resented, with angry protests, 
this interference with what they deemed their undoubted 
right to hold a husband-beating wife up to ridicule. 

There was very little sport in the parish at this era that 
is, amongst the working-folk. The farmers amused them- 
selves with their guns, but there was no football and very 
little cricket. During the 'sixties Mr. Sotheron-Estcourt 
presented the young men of the village with a set of cricket 
material, and a cricket-ground was made in a field wholly 
unsuited to the purpose, but nobody beyond the carpenters 
and the blacksmiths and the grooms cared to play. The 
fact was that the average young labourer had no opportunity 
of playing at anything. Such a thing as a Saturday half- 
holiday was unheard of. Men worked from first thing on 
Monday morning until last thing on Saturday night. The 
young man who had some taste for cricket found it im- 


possible to gratify it. It was half-past six every evening 
before he had finished his day's work : he then had to eat his 
supper ; by the time he had finished that, it was growing 
dusk. Sunday afternoon was the only time on which young 
labourers could have played cricket or football in those days 
and in those days the cursed Sabbatarian spirit of the 
Puritans still lay on the villages like a nightmare. Yet, 
at that very time, far away in the South of England, Charles 
Kingsley, one of the best and wisest of country parsons, 
was encouraging Sunday games at Eversley, and was finding 
his young Toms and Dicks all the better for it. They would 
have been all the better for it at Darrington, where, in those 
days, and for long afterwards, the young men and boys spent 
Sunday afternoon lounging in idleness at the Cross Roads, 
unoccupied, unamused, and uncared for. 

Little news came into the place at that period. The 
county newspapers, up to the repeal of the Newspaper Tax 
in 1855, were not what they became within the next twenty 
years. The Yorkshire Post, now one of the best and most 
influential journals in England, read regularly far outside 
the borders of the county whose name it bears, was not in 
existence in its present form as a penny paper until 1866 : 
its predecessor, The Leeds Intelligencer, had begun as a 
modest news sheet, in 1754. The Leeds Mercury, which 
began in equally humble fashion, in 1718, was also no more 
than an epitome of gathered news until 1855 : both it and 
the Intelligencer were, of course, weeklies. But in 1855 
the Mercury began to be issued on Tuesdays, Thursdays, 
and Saturdays : its subscribers paid sevenpence a week for 
the three issues. It was the first Leeds newspaper to be 
published daily, and at a penny ; this happened in 1861. 
Many of the Darrington farmers took in the Mercury until 
the Post came out as a daily ; then they turned to the Post, 
because it represented their own Tory principles. But 
the rest of the people got such news as they could from 

DARRINGTON : 1835-1875 163 

the Pontefract weekly papers, which were chiefly read in the 
public-houses. The news which interested them was the 
purely local news. It was only natural that this should be 
so ; it is only natural that it should still be so, even in these 
days. Folk who live all their lives in one place, to whom 
anything outside the parish is, as it were, in another world, 
are much more concerned to hear that somebody in the next 
parish has a lamb endowed with two heads than they are to 
learn that an intrepid explorer has discovered a new tribe 
in the centre of Africa. Africa is a long way off, but the 
two-headed lamb is close by. 

Communication with that outside world, which to these 
villagers was such a vague thing, was just as elementary in 
the Middle Victorian period as the supply of news through 
the newspapers. Up to 1840 it was better in one sense 
than it ever was between 1840 and 1880. When the tide of 
traffic on the Great North Road was at its full height, much 
news came into the village. Coaches stopped at the Crown ; 
the coachmen got down to wash out the horses' mouths ; 
the passengers dismounted, and, like Mr. Squeers, went 
through a leg-stretching process at the bar ; the guard had 
letters and parcels to hand out. All these people brought 
news. But when the last coach had disappeared, the last post- 
chaise rolled by, little news came into the place. Scarcely 
anyone received letters. Until quite recently there were 
old people living in Darrington who remembered the letters 
being brought from Ferrybridge. They were brought irregu- 
larly in bad weather the old woman who brought them 
allowed them to accumulate, sometimes for a week. As for 
telegrams, when they came in, not even the appearance of 
the Old Lad (vernacular for the Evil One) himself, in broad 
daylight, in the village street, could have been more terrify- 
ing than the advent of a mounted messenger with one of the 
foot-square pieces of pink paper on which the first tele- 
graphic despatches were written out. In the opinion of 


most folk nothing but events of the first and last importance 
could justify the sending of a telegram such as that Bona- 
parte had come to life again, or that Mr. Cobden had been 
created a Duke, or that the young Queen was about to marry 
the Pope of Rome. And nobody could possibly be per- 
suaded that any telegram, when it did come, contained any- 
thing but the news of a death with the consequence that 
all telegrams were left unopened until all the household, 
and as many neighbours as possible, had been solemnly 
assembled to assist at the opening. 

In those days the labourers had no votes : what is more, 
they had no desire to have votes. Their knowledge of 
politics was of a very elementary nature. They knew there 
were men who were Blues ; they also knew there were other 
men who were Yellows. Sometimes, they also knew, the 
Yellows governed the country ; sometimes the Blues 
governed it. The only statesman they ever heard of was 
Palmerston who he was, and what he was, they did not 
know, but they had heard of him perhaps because he once 
visited Pontefract and opened a new market-hall in that 
ancient borough. But they were sublimely and happily 
ignorant of everything political Lady Warwick's beau-ideal 
of the intelligent peasant, Joseph Arch, had not his counter- 
part in Darrington, even in the 'sixties. And they were 
very happy without politics. Nowadays, when we are all 
Socialists, whether we like to be or not, when a government 
of all the talents has deprived us of all individual effort and 
bids fair to make us into a set of machines, we may look 
back on these voteless labourers and consider them happy 
people. They would have been just as happy if no vote had 
ever been given to them by fatuous politicians who believed 
that they were dying to have it. No labourer in these parts 
wanted a vote, no labourer knew what to do with it when 
he got it. Many mistakes have been made about the rural 
labourers in that respect one, and perhaps the biggest, 

DARRINGTON: 1835-1875 165 

was that he desired a vote in order to bring in the Radicals. 
Whereas the real truth is that no greater Tory than the rural 
labourer ever existed ; it would have been strange if it had 
been otherwise, considering that his three intellectual guides 
in village life, the squire, the parson, and the Methodist 
minister, were invariably Tory to their marrows. But he 
was a Tory of the quiescent order the Toryism was deep 
down in his heart, and he had no desire that anybody should 
drag it to his lips or his fingers. 

Nobody well into the 'seventies wanted to drag any- 
thing to the surface at Darrington. Nobody wanted any- 
thing new. The farmers were doing well ; the people, if 
not living in luxury, were at least comfortable ; some of 
them were prosperous. The great idea was to leave every- 
thing alone. And nothing was left so much alone as the 
Church. The Church, in 1870, typified Darrington life. 
The Oxford Movement if we date it from Keble's famous 
Assize Sermon in the University Pulpit at Oxford, July I4th, 
1833 had been then in existence thirty-seven years : it was 
many hundreds of years away from Darrington, so to speak. 
Since 1850 all sorts of surprising changes had taken place 
in the conduct of the services of the Established Church 
no change had taken place at Darrington. The old church 
itself was still eminently Georgian. Its walls were colour- 
washed ; the beautiful pillaring was covered with innumer- 
able layers of plaster and whitewash. There were three 
hideous galleries at the west end ; the Lion and Unicorn 
figured on the front of the middle one. The body of the 
church was filled with horse-box pews ; some fine old 
benches, with carved ends, were hidden away under the 
darkness of the galleries, for the poor to sit on. One half 
the chancel was filled with the Vicar's pew ; in it two of the 
misereres were placed for the Vicar's wife and daughter to 
occupy ; two other sedilia of the same sort were set at the 
end of the chancel, the middle of which was filled with 


benches whereon the school-children sat to act as choir. 
The communion table was the old table tomb of William 
Farrer ; it was covered with a dingy cloth on which the 
farmers used to set their hats, and the clerk his inkpot 
and writing materials at the vestry meetings. The services 
were of the drabbest and dullest sort conceivable ; the 
sermons were moral essays, to which everybody listened in 
the spirit of Tennyson's " Northern Farmer" : 

" I thowt a said whot a owt to ha' said an' I coom'd awaay." 

Nobody cared very much what anybody said in those days, 
so long as the even stream of village life flowed placidly on. 
It was a quiet and mellow time and upon its quietude there 
suddenly came two new factors which drove it into the past 
for ever. One was the great agricultural disaster of the 
early 'seventies ; the other, the coming of a new Vicar. 



f ^HE last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century 
saw English farming in a bad way, and many 
English farmers utterly ruined. It made matters 
~*~ no better that the change came with almost start- 
ling suddenness. Yet it had been expected, and not only 
expected, but foretold with assurance and certainty. Ever 
since the repeal of the Corn Laws and the beginning of 
Continental competition, not only as regards grain but in 
other products, one school of economists in particular had 
never ceased to warn landlords, farmers, and labourers that 
a time would come when agriculture in this country would 
receive such a blow as would stagger it to its foundations. 
But the Corn Laws were repealed, and foreign competition 
increased, and no blow came. For thirty years after the 
repeal of the Corn Laws farmers did well, landlords got high 
rents, labourers were comfortably off. There was scarcely 
any diminution in the corn acreage up to 1873. The foreign 
meat supply seemed to make small difference to the English 
producer. But suddenly everything changed. The Atlantic 
voyage, which at the time of the Corn Law agitation had 
been one of three weeks or a month for slow-steaming freight 
ships, had been shortened to one of seven or eight days 
the superfluous grain of the new countries was poured into 
Liverpool quicker than a Yorkshire farmer could get his to 
the nearest wheat market. Wheat, too, began to pour in 



from other places than America it came from Hungary, 
Russia, South America. Cattle began to be dumped down 
in thousands where they had come in hundreds : wool came 
in from the far-off Australian continent, which increased 
steam facilities had placed, as it were, next door to us. The 
apostles of the Cobden school had forgotten that the whole 
world was being linked up, and that Free Trade opened a 
wide door in this country through which all other countries 
would hasten to thrust its goods. The farmer learnt the 
economic fact, with bitter emphasizing of it, in the 'seven- 
ties. He found that in his own particular industry he was 
suddenly face to face with the competition of the entire 
world. With this sudden startlingly developed rush of 
foreign competition came misfortune. No man in the world 
is so dependent upon weather as the farmer is : for the 
greater part of the 'seventies the English farmer experienced 
not merely spells but seasons and years of bad weather. 
For several years in succession crop after crop was ruined. 
To this was added further disaster. In 1879 came a terrible 
epidemic of sheep-rot ; millions of sheep died under it. It 
was followed four years later by an equally serious outbreak 
of foot-and-mouth disease, in which vast numbers of pigs, 
sheep, and cattle were lost. It seemed as if a concatenation 
of evil circumstances were coiling itself about the English 
farmer with intent to choke the life out of him. 

The climax of bad weather seasons came in 1879 a year 
which is still talked of with muttered whisperings and 
significant shakings of the head amongst elderly and middle- 
aged men. It rained all that summer in England, and the 
English corn crops were ruined. Not so the crops on the 
virgin soils of America. Wheat poured in from those wide- 
spreading cornlands in prodigious quantities, and it con- 
tinued to come. Prices fell and continued to fall. The 
average price of wheat for the twenty years between 1880 
and 1900 was 335. a quarter. But there were periods during 


that time in which it was far lower ; in 1894, for instance, 
it dropped to 22s. lod. : in certain markets it fell, on an 
average, beneath 2os. This drop in the price of the principal 
commodity was accompanied by a serious falling off in the 
prices of other commodities. Cheese and butter fell steadily 
all through the bad times ; after 1885 sheep and cattle fell. 
Never was farming so little profitable ; in the expressive 
phrase of the Yorkshire farmer, there was naught to be 
made of it. 

But there were other difficulties minor difficulties, but 
meaning serious misfortune when they came to be lumped 
together. Many farmers had made use of woman and child 
labour. In 1876, a new Education Act forbade the employ- 
ment of children under twelve, or under fourteen unless 
provided with a special certificate. Many a strong lad of 
twelve or thirteen was thus prevented from doing light work 
on a farm and earning a wage which would have been a 
welcome addition to the family exchequer. As for the 
women, the younger ones, who in certain North Country 
districts had done field labour for a good century, suddenly 
declined it, and set off for the towns to enter domestic 
service, or, tempted by the big wages, to lose their good looks 
in the heated atmosphere of the mills. About this time, 
too, began the exodus of the younger labourers to towns 
and cities : many farmers as was the case with one Dar- 
rington farmer imported labour from Ireland. Then came 
the importation of frozen meat from Australia and New 
Zealand : this made it less profitable to produce English 
cattle and sheep. Everything in the shape of food, in fact, 
began to come from abroad eggs, butter, cheese, came in 
prodigious quantities from our next door neighbours across 
the North Sea. Free Trade was now in full swing with a 
vengeance, and while it might be a good thing for the town 
populations, it was death to the farmer who, after all, 
was the long-suffering and patient representative of the 


oldest industry that mankind has ever known, and still 
the greatest in this country. 

Within ten years from the beginning of the really bad 
time the results were enormous. Landed proprietors found 
their incomes seriously diminished ; farmers, in spite of the 
wholesale lowering of rents, of constant reductions on the 
lowered rents, and of various shifts in the way of relief, were 
ruined ; the wages of the labourers fell. Sir James Caird 
estimated that between 1876 and 1886 the annual income 
of these three classes, landlords, tenant-farmers, and 
labourers, diminished by over 42,000,000. More bad 
seasons in the early 'nineties, further increase of foreign 
competition, only made matters worse. Until recent 
times from a cause which no Englishman desired to see 
spring up they have been little better, in spite of labour- 
saving machinery and less expense in production. What 
the future of agriculture will be when the present disturbance 
of European peace is over, is a question which will need very 
subtle and deep-reaching processes of thought and enquiry 
on the part of statesmen and economists before anything 
like a satisfactory answer to it is given. 

Upon such a purely agricultural village as Darrington the 
effects of this widespreading disaster were apparent in the 
'seventies, but more apparent in the 'eighties. The rents 
fell considerably ; even when they had fallen, reductions 
and allowances were always being made. Most of the 
farmers were men of substance, who stood to their farms : 
when they died, or if they left them, the tendency was to 
cut the farms up into smaller holdings : a bad thing, for no 
little farmer ever did any good to his landlord, his land, or 
himself. The wages of the labourers fell considerably ; an 
old wages book shows that men who were getting 2os. and 
i8s. in 1873 were glad to get 173. and 155. in 1890. Perhaps 
because food was cheap there was no great falling off in the 
standard of life and comfort. But conditions changed ; the 


folk who had cleaved to the soil began to leave it. There 
were few cases of actual emigration, but numbers of young 
men began to leave the village for the town, and their ranks 
were increased as the various labour-saving machines were 
introduced. By the end of the first twenty years of this 
period of agricultural depression, Darrington had become 
an utterly changed place the ancient characteristics of 
English rural life had completely passed away from it. 



A;he very time of the beginning of decline in its 
one industry, Church life in the parish of Dar- 
rington saw the commencement of a striking 
revival. In 1875 the long incumbency of Mr. 
Pease came to an end. For some years he had been in a 
feeble state of health, and the duty was taken by a succession 
of curates, scarcely one of whom remained in the village 
more than a few months. On June i8th Mr. Pease resigned 
the living, and on the 8th September following the vacancy 
thus caused was filled by the institution of the Reverend 
Digby Strangeways Wrangham, M.A., St. John's College, 
Oxford, who for some years had been Vicar of South Cave, 
in the East Riding. 

Mr. Wrangham came of an old and well-known East 
Riding family, closely connected for a long time with Hull 
and Malton. His father, Mr. Sergeant Wrangham, was a 
famous barrister who for some years was Leader of the 
Parliamentary Bar, and when the railways came into being 
was Counsel for the old London and York (now the Great 
Northern) Railway, and for the North Kent and South- 
Eastern Railway. He, however, was not greatly known in 
Yorkshire ; his father, the celebrated Archdeacon Wrang- 
ham, was, for many reasons. He was Vicar of Hunmanby, 
an ancient and deeply interesting village near Bridlington, 
and he was Archdeacon of the East Riding. He was a man 
of great literary tastes and abilities ; a poem of his, entitled 



The Raising of Jaims's Daughter, published in 1804, is in the 
library of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. He was 
also the author of a well-known Cambridge epigram. In 
a small triangular plot of ground, adjoining Trinity Hall 
Lane, Dr. Joseph Jowett, tutor, made in 1793 a small 
garden, protected by a palisading; it was the object of 
much friendly ridicule, and on it Archdeacon Wrangham 
wrote these lines 

"A little garden little Jowett made, 
And fenced it with a little palisade ; 
But when this little garden made a talk, 
He changed it to a little gravel walk. 
If you would know the mind of little Jowett, 
This little garden don't a little show it." 

There is a Latin version of this in Atkinson and Clarke's 
Cambridge. Archdeacon Wrangham was a great book- 
collector ; an Oxford visitor, who stayed with him at 
Hunmanby, left it on record that the house was literally 
packed with books, from the cellars to the attics. He 
was one of Sydney Smith's few clerical supporters in the 
witty Canon of St. Paul's advocacy of the claims on behalf 
of Catholic Emancipation. Sydney Smith, it will be 
remembered, was Rector of Foston-le-Clay in Yorkshire 
for many years ; he, therefore, had Archdeacon Wrangham 
as a near neighbour. On the point of Catholic Emancipation 
they were thoroughly in accord, and their advocacy of a 
tolerant policy was all the more striking because they found 
no support amongst their fellow-clergy in the North and 
East Ridings of Yorkshire. In March, 1825, a largely 
attended meeting of the clergy of Cleveland was held at the 
Three Tuns Inn at Thirsk ; at this Sydney Smith made his 
first political speech, a warm defence of the Catholic claims, 
in the course of which he said that if those present intended 
to approach Parliament at all, then he should ask them to 
support a petition which he had drawn up in favour of 


restoring civil and religious liberty to their Catholic fellow- 
subjects. But out of all the clergy present only two sup- 
ported the author of the famous Letters of Peter Plymley. 
One was Archdeacon Wrangham ; the other was the 
Reverend William Vernon Harcourt, son of the Archbishop 
of York, and father of the famous statesman, Sir William 
Vernon Harcourt. Needless to say, a petition of a very 
different nature to that proposed by Sydney Smith was 
adopted by the meeting. But Sydney Smith soon dis- 
tinguished himself by a further advocacy of what he firmly 
believed to be a measure of common fairness and justice ; 
at the Tiger Inn, at Beverley, in the following month, he 
made another brilliant and witty speech, in which he satirized 
and ridiculed the arguments of his fellow-clergy. On this 
occasion Archdeacon Wrangham was in the chair, and again 
supported Sydney Smith. There is an amusing reference 
to the Beverley meeting in a letter addressed by Sydney 
Smith to his friend Mr. Davenport, a Member of Parliament. 
" I slept," he writes, " at the Tiger Inn the night before [the 
meeting], and asked the servants of the Inn what they 
thought of the Catholics and Protestants. I must inform 
you of the result. The chambermaid was decidedly for the 
Church of England. Boots was for the Catholics. The 
waiter said he had often (God forgive him !) wished them 
both confounded together/' 

Mr. D. S. Wrangham, the new Vicar of Darrington, was 
ordained in the old (undivided) diocese of Gloucester and 
Bristol, and was curate of Badminton from 1854 to I &59- 
Himself a grandchild of the Archdeacon, he married another 
grandchild, Agnes Augusta Raikes, the second daughter of 
Mr. Henry Raikes of Llwynegrin, near Mold ; her brother, 
Mr. Henry Cecil Raikes, became a well-known statesman, 
and was Postmaster-General in 1886-1891, under Lord 
Salisbury. The Raikes family had long been famous in 
Gloucestershire by reason of the philanthropic work of 


Robert Raikes, proprietor of the Gloucester Journal from 
1757 to 1802, who was one of the first strenuous advocates 
of prison reform, and in 1780 founded at Gloucester the first 
Sunday-schools known in this country. Mr. Wrangham 
left Badminton in 1859, on h* 5 presentation to the Vicarage 
of South Cave, a village at the southern extremity of the 
Yorkshire Wolds. Here he found a church of no particular 
beauty or interest, and a large straggling parish, one part of 
which extended to the Humber. In this part, during his 
incumbency of sixteen years, he founded, at Broomfleet, 
a new parish, and built its church, its parsonage, and its 
schools. A man of considerable energy in organization, 
Mr. Wrangham, on his leaving South Cave for Darrington 
in 1875, immediately decided to undertake the restoration 
of Darrington Church, and within five years of his institution 
the much-needed work had been done. But before Dar- 
rington Church was reopened, after restoration, a new church 
had been built in the parish. Ever since the disappearance 
of the old Chantry chapel at Wentbridge, in the middle of 
the sixteenth century, the folk of that outlying township 
had been obliged to walk to Darrington for the services of 
the church. The distance was three miles ; it involved the 
climbing of a long hill ; in winter and bad weather it was a 
serious task to attempt. About the time that Mr. Wrang- 
ham came to Darrington, Mrs. Hope Barton of Stapleton 
decided to build a church at Wentbridge in memory of her 
husband. A particularly charming site on a gentle slope 
on the bank of the River Went, overhung by the fringe of 
the Brockodale Woods, was chosen, the work went apace, 
and in November, 1878, the new church, dedicated to 
St. John the Evangelist, was consecrated by Dr. Thomson, 
Archbishop of York. Sir Arthur Blomfield was the archi- 
tect of the new church ; the organ was built by Messrs. Hill 
and Sons ; the stained glass was made by Messrs. Burlison 
and Grylls. With the building of Wentbridge Church the 


ecclesiastical boundary of the parish of Darrington was so 
extended as to include the whole of Wentbridge village, 
which, up to that time, had been in three separate parishes 
Darrington, Kirk Smeaton, and Badsworth. 

Darrington Church, on the eve of its restoration, was, 
if anything, in a worse state than it had been for half a 
century. It was rarely used, except on Sundays, and on 
occasions of strict necessity, such as weddings and funerals, 
and to enter it was to enter upon an atmosphere of 
damp, dirt, and gloom. The services were slovenly ; the 
introduction of an already nearly worn-out organ, which 
replaced a harmonium that had in its time replaced the 
fiddle, the bass, and the serpent of the musicians, had 
done nothing to improve the musical character of the 
liturgy. The parishioners were naturally beginning to 
lose if they had not already lost all interest in the church 
of which their forefathers had been so proud. Because it 
had always been the custom to do so, the farmers' families 
followed the example of the gentry and went to church of a 
Sunday morning ; some few went again on a Sunday after- 
noon but a suggestion that they should go thither on a 
Saint's Day, or on any festival which did not fall on Sunday, 
would have been met with amazement by anyone in the 
village, high or low. 

From the purely architectural point of view, there is an 
excellent description of what Darrington Church was like 
before Mr. Wrangham's restoration of it in the late Sir 
Stephen Glynne's " Notes on Yorkshire Churches," which 
have appeared from time to time in the Yorkshire Archao- 
logical Journal. His description, and the date of his visit to 
Darrington, are given in the following extract from 
volume xvii : 

" Feb. 19, 1862. This church is in many ways very interesting. 
The plan is a nave with north and south aisles. Chancel with 
north chapel. Tower engaged in the west end of the nave and 


south porch. The tower is originally Norman, and seems to have 
opened to the nave formerly by only a very narrow arch, part of 
which is still to be seen, on shafts with scalloped capitals and 
abaci, but a larger pointed arch has at a subsequent period been 
opened above it. The tower opens to the north aisle by an 
obtuse arch, to the south aisle by a pointed one. The west 
respond of the south arcade is also a Norman impost. The nave 
has beyond the tower on each side an Early English arcade of 
three tall and handsome arches upon circular columns having 
moulded capitals and bases. The roofs look modern, and are 
covered with slates. There is no clerestory. In the south aisle 
are some very good Decorated windows of three lights, having 
reticulated tracery. At the east end of the same aisle is a single 
lancet, beneath which is a moulded horizontal ledge and a pretty 
piscina having a foliated ogee surmounted by a horizontal battle- 
ment, and springing from shafts and capitals, and the whole set 
upon a moulded projecting ledge. The nave is neat, but fitted 
with pews and a west gallery, though some of the ancient carved 
bench ends still remain. The windows of the north aisle are 
square-headed and Perpendicular, but one set higher up the wall 
is Decorated, of two lights. The west windows of the aisles are 
lancets. The chancel arch is pointed, on octagonal columns 
with capitals. The chancel is large and handsome. The east 
window of five lights, good Perpendicular. On the south are 
three windows, the centre one Decorated of two lights, with 
some remains of good old stained glass ; the others plain Per- 
pendicular of three and five lights, that next the east has the sill 
prolonged and panelled below, forming a sedile. Near it is a 
small rude piscina with trefoil head, these windows have panel- 
ling beneath them externally. There is an Early English priest's 
door on imposts. The north chapel is an addition to the original 
chancel, opening to it by a wide pointed arch broken in the wall, 
upon octagonal columns, of which the eastern has nail-heads 
in the capital. Eastward of this the wall looks as if it must 
have been an outer one, and has a lancet open now into the 
chapel. The chapel itself opens to the north aisle of the nave 
by a pointed arch rising straight from the wall, above which is a 
feature highly curious and singular, a stone gallery approached 
by a staircase within a square tower on the north-west side of the 
chapel or chantry. This gallery must have led to the rood-loft, 
and is lighted by three small arched openings on each side, look- 


ing into the chantry and into the aisle of the nave. The chantry 
chapel is also curious from having a stone arched roof with ribs, 
something like the south transept of Minchin Hampton. The 
roof is high pitched, and has in its apex on the west side a lancet 
seen over the roof of the aisle. The east window is Decorated, 
of three lights, lately restored. Near it is an enriched corbel. 
The northern windows are Perpendicular, of three lights, merely 
mullioned and foiled. At the east end are two very fine stone 
effigies : a knight, cross-legged, bearing a shield charged with a 
saltier, and a lady with joined hands. The south porch is a fine 
Decorated one, of solid character and lofty, having a stone vault 
with the arched stone ribs so often seen in this part of Yorkshire. 
Within it a fine Early English doorway, having three orders of 
moulding and shafts with moulded round capitals. The tower 
is low and not imposing it seems to have some Norman in- 
gredients, but is partly debased. The belfry windows on the 
south and east are Norman, the west windows and doors are 
Late Perpendicular/' 

In spite of the fact that the restoration of the church was 
entrusted to a famous firm of church architects, there was 
some curious carelessness shown during the early stages of 
the work. Some of the beautiful old pre-Reformation glass 
was found lying in the churchyard by Mrs. Hope Barton, flung 
away by workmen who evidently did not know its value ; 
much of it was already in fragments ; such of it as Mrs. 
Hope Barton could rescue she caused to be carefully placed 
in one of the new windows. Mrs. Hope Barton also rescued 
several large tombstones which had formerly lain in the 
chancel and with some difficulty succeeded in having them 
replaced in their original positions. A visitor, or passer-by, 
during the process of restoration picked up a fine old brass, 
asked the workmen if he could have it, and carried it off with 
him to keep, as a curiosity, for some ten years, when he 
gave it back to the church. A parishioner, bent on getting 
what he could out of the old place, carried off a panel of the 
ancient west door, and fitted it up in his pigstye ; there it was 
discovered by the present vicar, Canon Atkinson, a year or 


two ago. It is now framed and hung up near the position 
in which it figured for three centuries. It bears an inscrip- 
tion Hoc osti 1582 fecit T.B. which seems to show that 
the door of which it formed a part was made by a parishioner, 
Thomas Bankes, whose daughter Lucia's baptism is recorded 
in the register as having taken place in the year in question. 
About this time and arising out of the restoration of the 
church a most deplorable piece of vandalism took place in 
Darrington. Just outside the gate of the churchyard, in 
the lane leading from the main street of the village, there 
had stood for many a century the old parish stocks. They 
were in fairly good condition, despite the ill-treatment which 
they had received from generations of thoughtless youngsters. 
The bench on which the culprits sat, the two planks which 
made fast their ankles, the uprights which held the planks, 
though much worn and chipped, were still so intact that a 
very little renovation would have preserved them for 
centuries to come. Close by the stocks, on one side, was a 
mounting-step for horsemen ; on the other was what was 
undoubtedly the parish whipping-post, furnished with an 
ancient chain. All these relics of antiquity stood against 
the wall of the parish pound called there the pin-fold. 
The pound was of great age the pinders are mentioned 
frequently in the parish registers. Now stocks, whipping- 
post, and mounting-step were pulled down and swept away ; 
the wall of the pound was pulled down, too, and the pound 
itself gravelled and turned into an open space for the accom- 
modation of carriages. No worse piece of bad taste in 
connection with an ancient village can be imagined : one 
finds it difficult to enter into the state of mind of people 
who could stand by and calmly permit such outrages to 
take place. But nobody protested, either inside the parish 
or out of it and yet the whipping-post was probably unique, 
and in the whole of Yorkshire there are scarcely any of the 
old stocks left. 


From his parishioners as a whole leaving the door- 
appropriating gentleman on one side Mr. Wrangham 
received as generous support in his efforts to restore the 
ancient church as the long-dead generations of Darrington 
folk had given to the church in other circumstances in other 
and different ages. The indifference of the past three 
hundred years was suddenly swept away ; those who had an 
interest in the parish and those who lived in it gave gener- 
ously, and with admirable discernment as to particular needs. 
Three families in particular deserve record of their deeds. 
The lord of the manor, Mr. G. T. J. Sotheron-Estcourt (after- 
wards Lord Estcourt), gave 350 ; the Reverend E. N. B. 
Estcourt, 200. The executors of the late John Hope 
Barton of Stapleton, gave 500 ; Mrs. Barton the elder 
(widow of John Watson Barton) gave the reredos ; Mrs. 
Hope Barton (who had already built Wentbridge Church) 
gave 50, the frontal and service books for the communion- 
table, and a window in the north transept, which was largely 
made of fragments of pre-Ref ormation glass which had been 
in the old east window of the chancel. A very fine new east 
window was given by the members of the Badsworth Hunt, 
in memory of John Hope Barton, their late Master. Equally 
munificent were the gifts of the Lees of Grove Hall, a much 
respected family which had been settled in an outlying part 
of the parish for a hundred years. Mrs. Lee gave 180 and 
a new organ, at a cost of 500 ; Mr. W. F. Lee, in memory 
of his father, Mr. Richard Thomas Lee a well-known and 
greatly honoured figure of the Mid- Victorian times gave a 
new communion service, consisting of a modern chalice, 
paten, flagon, and alms-dish, specially designed by Mr. A. W. 
Blomfield, and made by T.P. of London. There were many 
other handsome special gifts and donations. Mrs. Sayle gave 
140 and a new west window in memory of her husband, Dr. 
Sayle, a member of a family once settled at Wentbridge. Mrs. 
Oliver gave a two-light north window in memory of her 


husband and brother-in-law, one time residents at Dar- 
rington Hall, whose parents are buried in the church. At a 
later period Mr. Wrangham and his family put in the three 
south windows in the chancel in memory of Mrs. Wrangham, 
whose mother, Mrs. Raikes, had given the surplices for the 
choir. The total cost of the restoration, exclusive of the 
special gifts, was about 2500, and that the money had been 
well and wisely laid out was abundantly evident when the 
parishioners were permitted to see the result. The hideous 
galleries and their Royal coat-of-arms had gone ; the horse- 
box pews had been entirely removed and replaced by open 
benches. The plaster and whitewash had been scraped 
away no easy task, for there were layers upon layers of it 
and the beautiful twelfth-century stonework revealed. The 
chancel was cleared of its vicarage pew, fully opened out, 
and fitted with choir stalls ; the old pulpit was cut down to 
proper dimensions ; the font was properly placed in the 
west inner porch. It was a very beautiful and well-appointed 
church which was revealed on May I4th, 1880, when it was 
reopened by Dr. Thomson, Archbishop of York. 

The era of improvement having begun in Darrington 
continued for many years under Mr. Wrangham, and after 
his death under the incumbency of his successor, the present 
vicar, the Reverend Henry Sadgrove Atkinson (M.A., 
Jesus College, Cambridge, formerly Vicar of Roystone, 
instituted to Darrington, April 25th, 1892 ; Rural Dean of 
Pontefract, 1900, Canon of York and Prebendary of Given- 
dale, 1903), who has taken a deep interest in the parish and 
extended the Church work in a fashion which shows a marvel- 
lous contrast to the apathy and dulness still well remembered 
by even middle-aged parishioners. All manner of helps to 
parish life have been introduced : various charitable and 
beneficial works instituted : a general lifting-up of things 
has made the parish one of the best-conducted and equipped 
in the Archdiocese of York. Mr. Wrangham himself was 


largely instrumental in transforming the old Parson's Dove- 
cot into a Church House ; Mrs. Leatham of Wentbridge 
built a handsome and well-contrived Convalescent Home in 
memory of her husband, Mr. Edmund Leatham ; at various 
periods a new Schoolmaster's House was built, a new 
Reading-room established, a new Infants' School set up. 
The churchyard was enlarged ; a handsome Lych-gate 
erected at its entrance ; chapels-of-ease at Stapleton Park, 
and at Cridling, were founded. The tower of the church 
was restored, some years after the general restoration ; a 
new bell was added, and dedicated by the Bishop of Beverley 
in 1895 ; two more bells were given by Miss Eliza Leckie, 
of Darrington, and dedicated by Dr. Maclagan, Archbishop 
of York, in the following year. Later the church was lighted 
by acetylene gas, and in 1914 the Yorkshire Parish Register 
Society printed its registers. All these things are, of course, 
outward and material signs of a revival ; the deeper signifi- 
cance of that may be best judged by the parishioners 
themselves, who for many years have seen the services of 
their church redeemed from the carelessness and irreverence 
into which they had been so long plunged. 

Mr. Wrangham remained Vicar of Darrington for twelve 
years after he had successfully carried out the restoration 
of the church. A man of commanding presence, an excellent 
organizer, a Churchman of the school of Dean Hook, a 
singularly able preacher, he exercised a great influence in 
his parish and left a tradition which will long remain. He 
was a man of strong character, a born raconteur, and pos- 
sessed of great wit and humour ; he had inherited much 
literary ability, and while he was at Darrington published 
two works of great value one a translation of The Liturgical 
Poetry of Adam of St. Victor ; the other, a metrical para- 
phrase of the Psalms, under the title Lyra Regis. He died 
in 1892, and was buried at the east end of the churchyard, 
beneath the chancel wall, by the side of his wife, who had 


predeceased him by a few years. His only son, the Reverend 
Francis Wrangham, M.A., was some time later curate of 
Darrington for six years, Rector of Long Newnton in 
Gloucestershire from September, 1901, to April, 1917, and 
is now Rector of Hardenhuish in Wiltshire and Rural Dean 
of Chippenham. 

One of the most interesting matters in connection with 
the modern history of Darrington Church occurred soon 
after the coming of Canon Atkinson to the parish. Canon 
Atkinson discovered in the garden wall of a farmstead 
at Cridling Park a sculptured stone on which was carved 
a crucifix of undoubted antiquity. This relic, made of 
friable sandstone, and then badly decaying, he rescued 
from its unfitting surroundings, and caused to be placed in 
the east wall of the south aisle of the church. The following 
account of the crucifix appeared in the Darrington Parish 
Magazine for January, 1906, and is based upon a description 
of the relic written by the late Mr. Richard Holmes, the 
learned antiquary of Pontefract, for the Journal of the 
Yorkshire Archaological Society, vol. xi, 1891 : " The writer 
considers it [the crucifix] to be unique, as in addition to the 
ordinary transverse beam on which the arms of Our Saviour 
are extended, the sculptor has added a second of exactly 
the same character, also slightly expanded towards the 
extremities. Without the second beam the Cross would 
have been a well-proportioned Latin Cross ; without the 
second beam and all below it we should have had a Greek 
Cross ; while without the additional four inches, two inches 
at each extremity of the lower beam, that is, reducing the 
eleven inches to seven, the size of the upper limb, the whole 
would form a double cross similar to that of the Order of the 
Holy Sepulchre, of good proportion, and of an exceedingly 
graceful character. With regard to the representation of 
the Saviour, the arms are outstretched, though with a slight 
droop ; the legs are straight, and with the feet separated 


(not crossed, as is the case in modern representations) ; there 
is no apparent support for them, the Body being attached 
to the Cross by four nails in all (as was usual until about 1250), 
and not by three, as since that date, and now. The six 
spaces between the Figure and the two beams contain a 
simple ball-flower with four petals. The writer considers 
this unique sculpture as of the date 1180-1220, or about the 
reign of King Richard I. Had it been earlier there would 
have been no ball-flower ; had it been much later there 
would have been only one nail at the foot of the Cross, 
while both the predominance of the Greek form in the 
Cross and its similarity to that borne by some of the late 
Twelfth Century Crusaders point to the probability of the 
Crusade origin of the design." 

Darrington Church, therefore, may safely claim to possess 
at any rate one English antiquity that is unique no parti- 
culars of any ancient sculpture at all resembling this are 
known to our antiquaries and archaeologists. But the 
church as it is to-day is full of matters of vast interest to all 
lovers of the past. Similar turret towers to that on the 
north side of the Lady Chapel may be seen at one or two 
other English churches, and notably at that of Bugthorpe 
in the East Riding, but the stone gallery which is over the 
entrance to the Lady Chapel is, perhaps, as unique as the 
twelfth-century crucifix. And in the fourteenth and fif- 
teenth-century glass, happily rescued at the restoration and 
now in the north window of the chapel, in the two effigies of 
Warren de Scargill and Clara his wife, in the ogee piscina 
and the curious trefoil opening close by it, in the ancient 
misereres, and in the old pulpit, there is a wealth of antiquity 
not easily equalled even in this county of venerable churches. 



WHOEVER has watched English rural life with 
careful attention and sympathy during the last 
forty years knows that in that time a vast 
change has come over it. Everything is 
changed ; we are a new people ; we are going to be a newer 
people. Whether we like it or not, the old days are dead. 
Nothing could be more different, more widely apart than the 
Darrington life of the 'seventies, and the Darrington life of 
to-day. There have been many contributory causes to this 
difference. The revival of Church life, the interesting of the 
people in Church affairs, the bringing them to see that the 
Church is really something to them and they to it, has been 
one great, one deep-reaching cause. The spread of educa- 
tion has been another. There may still be illiterate folk in 
this parish, but they must be few ; what few there are must 
be very old. The advent of the daily newspaper has been 
a cause the days when the labourer got his news of the 
world from some chance hearing of scraps read out of a beer- 
stained, fly-blown local sheet, thumbed to thinness at the 
public-house, are over ; for many a year these villagers 
have been able to get their evening paper as soon as their 
day's work was done. Increased postal facilities and the 
setting up of the electric telegraph have made yet another 
cause they have brought the outside world nearer. So 
have railways ; so have bicycles. In the old days the young 
men and young women rarely went anywhere ; nowadays 



cheap excursion trains and their own bicycles carry them 
wherever they like to go. The big towns of the West Riding 
are as familiar to them as their own elm-trees ; where not 
one of their ancestors had seen the sea, or York Minster, or 
Hull and its docks, scores of them have seen all these things, 
many of them have seen London itself. They are no longer 
villagers ; they have become citizens of an Empire. And 
this widening of view, this broadening of experience, has 
produced excellent results. There has been a vast improve- 
ment in manners here again the chief credit of the lifting- 
up is due to the revival in Church life. There is far less 
brutality, far less coarseness, far less drunkenness, a far 
better standard of morals. The taste for amusements of a 
semi-brutal sort which was still existent in the Mid- Victorian 
period is wellnigh extinct ; new tastes for arts and crafts, 
for music, for flower-growing, for cottage-gardening, even 
for reading, have taken the place of the pleasures which, 
if not so degrading as badger-baiting and cock-fighting, 
did little to yield sensible enjoyment. 

In spite of the long spell of agricultural depression the 
rural labourer is better off to-day than at any period of the 
last four centuries. It would indeed be a strange thing if he 
were not. No man has been more legislated for than he 
during the last twenty-six years. He was given the right 
to vote in 1884 many of us are still old-fashioned enough 
to think (judging, of course, from our own experience) that 
he was not anxious to vote, and is not particularly desirous 
of exercising his privilege nowadays. Laws affecting the 
education of his children were passed for his and their 
benefit in 1876, 1891, 1902, and 1906. The Local Govern- 
ment Act of 1894 gave him power to assist in the manage- 
ment of his own village through Parish Councils and Parish 
Meetings. The 63rd and 64th Victoria c. xxii, 1900, ex- 
tended to him the right to compensation for accidents met 
with during employment. Acts of Parliament passed in 1876, 


in 1893, and in 1899 stopped the further enclosing of land 
and encroachment on commons. The inspection of cottages 
by Local Government inspectors was provided for by Acts 
of Parliament in 1890 and 1909. He was ensured the chance 
of obtaining a small holding by legislation carried through 
in 1907 and 1908. And in 1911 a National Insurance Act 
ensured him medical attendance and an allowance of money 
during sickness, while the Old Age Pension Act conferred 
upon him, at a certain age, and under certain conditions, a 
weekly payment which, if not very liberal in amount, make 
all the difference in the world to its recipients as regards the 
division between comfort and poverty. 

But the status of the agricultural labourer is, after all, 
largely affected by the status of the man who employs his 
labour, and one must consider the position of the farmer 
and of farming before one can even estimate approximately 
what the future of agricultural villages like Darrington is 
going to be. There has not been much legislation in the 
farmer's interest during the days of his depression. It did 
him no particular good financially, at any rate when the 
Game Acts of 1880, 1906, and 1908 gave him various 
privileges in the matter of killing ground game. He was not 
particularly affected by the Road Acts of 1888 and 1894. 
The Improvements Acts of 1883 and 1908 were instances of 
piecemeal legislation. Few farmers have materially bene- 
fited by the Tithes Act of 1891, and the Relief of Rates Acts 
of the same year and of 1901. Nor has the establishment 
of the Board of Agriculture in 1889 produced the happy 
results to farmers and farming which its optimistic sup- 
porters fancied it would. In spite of everything there is 
still a heavy handicap on English fanning, and although we 
have at this moment more need than ever at any period of 
our history of raising as much as we possibly can of our own 
food, our total production of wheat in 1916 is a million and a 
half quarters less than it was in 1915, and there is a decrease 


in the expanse of land under wheat of nearly two hundred 
and sixty thousand acres. Nor is this entirely owing if it 
is owing at all to the special conditions under which we 
now find ourselves. 

The very life not to speak of the prosperity of a village 
like Darrington, which has lived by agriculture since the 
days when the Celts were driven out by the Anglo-Saxons, 
depends upon farming, and what the future of farming is to 
be in England in the days which are coming must needs be 
the subject of deep and anxious thought. Every specialist 
in agriculture knows well that there must surely be vast 
changes. Our production of food is no longer at all satis- 
factory. Of the alternative systems, farmers will hence- 
forth be expected to follow whichever is most to the nation's 
benefit. No arable farming on a vast scale is in any way 
possible without a proper labour supply ; if there is to be 
an increase of labour then there will have to be a great 
development of rural industries which will provide work in 
winter, together with an extension of small holdings. In 
the opinion of many experts agriculture in England suffers 
from our having too large a number of medium-sized 
farms what is needed is a new division into larger farms 
of as much as six hundred acres, and holdings of a quarter 
of that size. But it may be that we shall see something of 
co-operation in farming societies of this nature have 
already been formed in several counties ; one, in Dorset- 
shire, appears to have already achieved a considerable 
amount of success. One thing is certain in the near future, 
under the new conditions which will arise in a new settlement 
of world affairs, nothing will be so important to an agri- 
cultural country like ours as that its agriculture shall be 
revived and set upon a firm basis : there is no reason why 
that basis, why that readjustment, should not be just as 
much to the interest of those who live by agriculture as it 
will surely have to be to the interest of the nation. 


There is another thing that is also certain perhaps the 
most certain thing which we of this age have ever known. 
Whatever may come to our old acres, our ancient villages, 
let no man doubt that the English qualities of courage, of 
determination, of endeavour, of resolute will to be and to do, 
are strong and unassailable as ever. We have proved that. 
From this village of Darlington, as from many another 
English village, men went willingly to fight for England 
when the hour of England's need of them arrived. Nothing 
could have been further from the thoughts of these men 
than that they should ever bear arms but they made no 
delay in exchanging the stilts of the plough for the rifle and 
the bayonet. They had heard the call, and had responded 
and gone, long before there was any talk of compulsion in the 
land. Many of them will never come back. Those who 
return will bring new thoughts, new conceptions of life and 
the world with them. And round them a new England will 
rise but it will still be the England whose acres we have 
tilled during all these long, slow centuries, in whose service 
our fathers lived, for whose honour in this day our sons have 

Ever the faith endures, 

England, my England 

Take and break us : we are yours 
England, my own ! 

Life is good, and joys run high 

Between English earth and sky ; 

Death is death, but we shall die 
To the song on your bugles blown 

To the stars on your bugles blown ! 



Mr. A. S. Ellis's Biographical Notes of the Yorkshire Tenants, 
named in Domesday Book, contains some interesting information 
about Baret and Alsi. In addition to the manors mentioned 
in the text, Baret is here said to have held others at Hensall, 
Huggate, and Whixley ; also at Coleby in Lincolnshire, which 
was given at the Norman Conquest to Erneis de Burun, an 
ancestor of the Byrons. Alsi also appears to have been a con- 
siderable landowner : in addition to his Darrington manor or 
part of it he had land at Campsall and Shafton, and at the time 
of the Conquest he held two manors at Darfield. He also had 
two valuable manors at Brodsworth and Kimberworth, which 
were given by William the Conqueror to Roger de Busli. If the 
Elsi who is mentioned in Domesday Book is the same person as 
the Alsi, his possessions were still more considerable, and ex- 
tended over a large part of this district, and into the adjoining 
county of Nottinghamshire. 


In the various early writings associated with Pontefract the 
name of its Norman lords is variously spelt. In the charters of 
the Cluniac House of St. John at Pontefract, it appears as Lacey, 
Lascy, Lascey, and Lasci. The late Mr. Holmes, probably basing 
his use on the fact that the family originally sprang from Lassi, 
or Lassy, in La Calvados, spells the name de Lascy in his last 
and most important work, The Chartulary of St. John of Ponte- 
fract, but he used the form de Lacy in his earlier publications, 
and that form has been adopted here because it is most familiar 
to readers, and is generally found in all historical works. 




There has been much controversy about the pre-Norman name 
of Pontefract just as much as there was at one time about the 
correct spelling of the accepted name : the late Mr. Richard 
Holmes, in one of his books on the town, brings forward no less 
than thirty-nine variations four in Latin, thirty-five in English. 
Some writers claim that before the Norman Conquest Pontefract 
was called Kirkby ; others that it was Tateshale ; others that it 
was undoubtedly Taddenesscylf. In the MS. of Symeon of 
Durham is a marginal note which reads : " Taddenesscylf erat 
tune villa regia quae nunc vocatur Puntfraite Romane, Anglice 
vero Kirkebi." But Taddenesscylf was undoubtedly Tanshelf, 
the part of the town to the west, furthest from the Castle, which 
still bears that name. This was probably at one time shortened 
to Tateshale, and the name applied to the town which spread 
eastward to the great promontory on which the Castle was 
eventually built. When the town was divided at the Conquest, 
Tateshale was confined to what is now Tanshelf, and the new 
name Pontefract came into being. According to Mr. Holmes 
there is no evidence whatever that the town was ever called 
Kirkby at any rate, as a name that obtained for any lengthy 
period. But the same learned authority gives the name to a 
hamlet which sprang up around the Priory of St. John, which 
stood near the present Monkhill station. It would be of great 
interest if some competent authority would tell us if there is 
any connection between Tateshale and Tale which was the 
other name of ^Ethelburh, sister of the Kentish king Eadbald, 
who was married to Eadwine, king of Northumbria, at York, 
in 625, 


In a charter made about 1200 by William, son of Walter, the 
Chaplain of Darrington, in which he gives a toft at Darrington 
to the Priory of St. John at Pontefract, there is mention of an 
intersection of roads at Darrington, then called Carfax " apud 
Quarefurs." Mr. Holmes considered this to have been at the 
point where the road from Pontefract to Darrington is joined as 
regards one side by West Field Lane, as regards the other by 
Marl Pit Lane ; that is, close by the carpenter's shop and yard, 


So long in the occupancy of the Laveracks. He does not suggest, 
however, what seems very obvious that Marl Pit Lane and 
West Field Lane make a continuous track across country in an 
almost straight line from Pontefract Castle to Wentbridge. 
There are few instances known in England of an intersection of 
roads being called Carfax, but in France almost every such 
intersection has the French equivalent carrefour. Two well- 
known English instances, however, will at once occur the 
famous Carfax in Oxford, and the less celebrated Carfax at 
Horsham in Sussex. 


There seems no doubt whatever that the Chapel of Stapleton 
consecrated by Archbishop Thurstan, circa 1130-1140, and 
mentioned in the Woolley Charter was not the Lady, or Staple- 
ton, or Scargill chapel in Darrington Church, as has often been 
supposed, but a chapel at Stapleton itself. The late Mr. Holmes 
came to this conclusion by a collation of Charter 40 with 
Charter 223 in the papers of St. John of Pontefract. " It is 
evident," he says, in a note to Charter 222, " that the chapel at 
Stapleton was an independent foundation, and separate from the 
Mother Church [of Darrington]. But all trace or tradition of it 
has long perished/' So, too, has all trace of the ancient village 
of Stapleton. The probability is, that that village stood some- 
where about where the road to Kirk Smeaton branches off from 
the Darrington- Womersley road, and that the original manor- 
house was not on the site of the present Hall, but on the high 
ground above it. 


In the Coucher Book of the Cistercian Abbey of Kirkstall, 
printed from the original preserved in the Public Record Office 
by the Thoresby Society (vol. viii of its publications), there 
are several references to the parish of Darrington. It may 
be of interest to tabulate them here the references in figures 
are to the pages in the volume just mentioned. (34) Plea 
between the Abbot of Kirkstall and John, son of Thomas Jowett, 
and others, as to services due in respect of property at Darrington. 
(53-54) Confirmation by Roger de Lacy, Constable of Chester, 
of one acre of land next to the bridge at Wentbridge. (113) 


Confirmation by Robert de Lacy of land in Wentbridge. (145) 
Plea between the Abbot of Kirkstall and William, son of Roger 
Bokil, respecting the service due from a holding in Darrington. 
(151) Grant of land in Darrington by Noel. (152) Grant of 
land in Darrington by William Fitz Gerald. (153) Grant of 
five acres of land in Stapleton by Haimeric de Stapleton. (154) 
Confirmation by Richard, son of Alan Noel, of two bovates of land 
in Darrington. (155) Confirmation by Robert de Stapleton 
of his father's grant of land in Stapleton. (155) Grant of land 
and pasture in Stapleton by William de Stapleton. 


After the beheading of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, at Ponte- 
fract in March, 1321-2, a strong attempt was made to procure 
his canonization, in which both King Edward III of England, 
and Queen Isabella of Spain, personally joined. No response 
came from the Pope, and the process of canonization did not 
mature. But there was great local belief in Thomas's sanctity, 
and miracles were said to be wrought at his tomb at the Priory 
of St. John at Pont efr act. A chapel was built on the site of his 
execution, and the licence to say mass in it was granted at 
Darrington by Archbishop Zouche, on October igth, 1343 the 
Archbishop evidently being on that date in visitation of the 
parish. The connection between Darrington and the Priory of 
St. John at Pontefract was close and long. In the late Mr. 
Richard Holmes's careful and scholarly printing of the Chartulary 
of St. John of Pontefract, which fills two volumes of the invaluable 
Record Series of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, there are 
quite one hundred references to Darrington, Stapleton, and 
Wentbridge most of them relating to grants of land to the 


Wentbridge, though now in the ecclesiastical parish of Dar- 
rington, has never at any time been a separate manor, township, 
or constabulary. Three different manors meet in it : Darrington 
comes up to the north bank of the river Went ; Kirk Smeaton 
is in the segment formed by the Great North Road and the 
south bank of the river up to the bridge ; Thorp Audlin takes 
the other segment formed by the Great North Road and the 

NOTES 195 

south bank of the river from the bridge going westward. But 
about the thirteenth century, when the de Lacys held it, it was 
certainly treated as a separate entity in their charters, though 
it had probably been portioned out amongst the three manors 
just referred to before their time. In a curious map of what 
he calls the Humber district, drawn by himself for his Itinerary, 
Leland includes Wentebrig, marking it as (with the exception of 
Ponfract) the only place of importance in the district. 


There are references to various grants of land in this parish to 
Kirkstall Abbey in the books and chartularies of that foundation. 
Richard, son of Alan Noel of Smeaton, gave to the monks of 
Kirkstall two bovates of land in Darrington. Henry de Staple- 
ton gave to the monastery at Kirkstall six acres of land in 
Stapleton, in the ploughland " which is called Wulpuitedale." 
Robert de Lacy gave to the monks of Kirkstall one carucate of 
land with its appurtenances in Wentbridge. The Stapleton 
grant does not appear to have been part of Kirkstall Abbey's 
possessions at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries : 
it is not mentioned by Burton, at any rate, in his Monasticon. 


In the Coucher Book of Nostell Priory there are two grants of 
land on Went Hill. 

" Fo. 23. Know p'st and to come that I Eudo de Longvillers 
have given, etc. to the Church of St. Oswald for the soule of 
Agnes my wife (daughter of Hernem de Reinvile) and my son 
Alan, six acres of land in Wenteshill, viz. 4 acres which Roger 
sonne of William held with a messuage situate in the said Lands 
and allso 2 acres at the end of the foresaid 4 acres between the 
lands of Richard Stavard in free, pure, and perpetual Almes, 

" Fo. 62. To all the sonnes of the holy mother ye Church as 
well p r sent as to come, Herni de Renilla greeting. Know ye that 
I have given and by this my p r sent charter confirmed to God and 
St. Oswald and the Canons serving there, for ye health of my 


soule, and of my wife, and of my sonnes and daughters, and of 
my Ancestors, ppetuall and pure Almes, the rent which Robert 
sonne of Asketillus de Badewrd was wont to pay to me for his 
land [on Went Hill] viz 22d. which the said Robert shall pay to 
them yearly at the feast of St. Martin, or whosoever shall hold 
the said Land. And if it happen that they do not pay it, I and 
my heires will pay the said Rent at the foresaid terme." 


In the Chartulary of Bolton Priory are two entries referring 
to land at Wentbridge which came into possession of the Augus- 
tinians of Bolton. 

" Fo. 162. Know p r sent and to come y* I William sonne of 
Adelinus steward of ye Lord the King have given, granted, and 
by this my p r sent Charter confirmed to Durand sonne of Drew 
my servant all my Land with y e Appurtenances w ch I had at 
Wentbrig, etc., and 3 bovates in the towne of Thorp, with y e 
Appurtenances, viz. y* bovate wch Robert sonne of William 
held of me at Thomasgate. And 2 bovates of Land of my 
demesne, which Thomas, sonne of Ankelinus held of me. And 
3 acres of Land w th a messuage wch I purchased, which I held 
of the Hospitall of Jerusalem of the fee of Smytheton [Smeaton]. 
And besydes these I have granted to the foresaid Durand his own 
demesne free from multure in my mills of Thorne for his homage 
and service and his own ten markes which the foresaid Durand 
gave me at my journey from Jerusalem. All these tenements 
the foresaid Durand shall hold of me and my heires in fee and 
Inheritance, freely and quietly, etc., in meadows, feedings, path 
and ways, and all other liberties and easements, paying to me 
and my heires yearly i2d. (viz.) at the feast of St. Michael for all 
services, etc. Wittnesse Ralfe my sonne. Walter Alemann 
John his brother, Hugh de Pouelington, Nicholas p'son of Tick- 
hill, Jno Clerke, Henry de St. Paule, John Sturmin, Geffrey de 
Schildewyke and many others." 

" Fo. 162. To all the faithfull in Christ, etc. John de Curtheny 
greeting. Know ye that I have given etc. to ye Church of Bolton, 
etc. one Bovate of Land and a halfe, with ye appurtenanes in 
Wentbrig (viz.) which Durandus formerly held. Wittnesse, 
Osbert de Arches, Thomas de St. Paule, etc." 

NOTES 197 


The following entry occurs in the Knaresborough Wills 
printed by the Surtees Society, vol. ii, p. 142 : 

" The tuition of Charles Leeming. Membrane n. May n. 
12 Charles I. Thomas Mawson of Wentbridge, saddletremaker, 
is admitted as guardian of Charles, the son of Henry Lemeing, 
of Beckwith, deceased." 


Mr. A. Hamilton Thompson, M.A., F.S.A., in his book on 
The Historical Growth of the English Parish Church says, as 
regards the actual building, " the builders were generally, it may 
be assumed, local masons. . . . The splendid development of 
many twelfth-century parish churches is no argument against 
their local origin. Architectural enthusiasm in the Middle Ages 
was a possession of the people generally : it was not confined to 
a limited and privileged body. The large monastery or cathedral 
churches in every neighbourhood were sources of inspiration. . . . 
Here and there, perhaps, a mason who had taken part in the 
building of one of the greater churches, would be called into 
consultation for the design of a parish church. ... In the 
Middle Ages the builder was not a mere instrument to carry out 
the designs of an architect. He himself, the master mason of the 
work, was the architect. His training lay, not in the draughts- 
manship of an architect's office, but in practical working with 
mallet and chisel. Thus, during at any rate the earlier part of 
the Middle Ages, design was in no small degree a matter of 
instinct. Architecture was a popular, democratic art, in which 
the instinctive faculties became trained to a high pitch/' 


There is a peculiar interest attaching to this institution : it is 
the only one relating to Darrington noted by the compiler of the 
Harleian MS. He extracted it from the Register of Archbishop 
Melton : " The King p'sents to the vicariage of Darthington 
ii of the Kal of November 1326." The King, Edward II, here 
exercised the right usually held by the Prior and Convent of 


St. John at Pontefract : Edward III exercised the same right 
again in 1349 on * ne institution of John Tourge. 


Some notion of the population of the parish and of the names 
of the people living in it towards the close of the fourteenth 
century may be gained from the return of the Poll Tax of 1378. 
76 persons were assessed in Darrington ; 74 of them paid 4d. each ; 
two, William Treshar (whose wife was Agnes), described as a 
smith, and John Marr (whose wife was Lucy), described as a 
tailor, paid 6d. each. The total amount paid by Darrington 
was i 55. gd. In Stapleton 29 people were assessed. John 
Thwayte, mason, William Ingramson, smith, Robert Edmundson, 
tailor, John de Gateford, walker (=a fuller), Agnes de Scargill, 
and Richard Taylour, webster, with William de Meare and Agnes 
his wife, also tailors, paid 6d. each ; the others paid 4d. each, 
the total sum received being los. lod. Many of the names are 
those found in the two townships at present Chambers, Hobson, 
Hill, Lister, Shepherd, Addy. Some are peculiar to the time 
Robertdoughter, Roudoughter, Swynherd, John at Oghen, 
Dobdoughter, Robert at Brigge (Wentbridge), and their origin is 


The Badsworth Records contain the following entry, dated 
June 9th, 1393 : 

" Grant by Alan Percole, tailor, to Richard Douk Vicar of the 
Church of Derthyngton, and to William del Mare of Stapleton 
of a cottage in Wentbrig in Kirksmeton, rendering therefore 
yearly to the lord of that fee a rose on the feast of St. John the 


There is mention of this family in a grant made by Henry IV, 
wherein it is set forth that whereas his father, John of Gaunt, 
Duke of Lancaster (to whom he curiously refers as ' Our father 
the King '), lately granted to Agnes, late wife of Thomas 
Maunsell, the site of the manor of Cridling for the term of her life, 
the king doth now confirm the said gift. 

NOTES 199 


Frobisher, the last of the pre- Reformation vicars of Darrington, 
followed the example of Archbishop Holgate and took to himself 
a wife. So did several other clergy in this part of the Arch- 
diocese : notably Frobisher's neighbours, the vicars of Fryston, 
Smeaton, Ackworth, and South Kirkby. When Queen Mary 
came to the throne, Frobisher, like most clergy in his case, 
resigned the living. But he seems to have remained in Darring- 
ton as a private resident, for there are entries concerning him and 
his family in the parish register, and he and his wife Isabella died 
and were buried at Darrington, within a few days of each other, 
in July, 1588. Between Anthony Frobisher and certain events 
of the present day there is a very curious and equally inter- 
esting connection. According to the Hopkinson MS. pedigrees, 
preserved at the Leeds Public Reference Library, Anthony 
Frobisher, Vicar of Darrington, was the uncle of Sir Martin 
Frobisher, the famous Elizabethan seaman and explorer, who 
was born at Altofts, near Wakefield, in 1535. Anthony 
Frobisher's eldest daughter, Catharine, married, December 
I7th, 1588, Henry, son of one Michael Shackleton, of Darring- 
ton. These Shackletons had apparently lived in the parish 
for some time previous to the institution of the Registers ; in 
the Registers there are many entries relating to them during 
successive generations. From the marriage of Henry Shackle- 
ton and Catharine Frobisher sprang the numerous branches of 
the family which were subsequently established at Darrington, 
Pontefract, Womersley, Stubbs Walden, and Knottingley, and 
are now settled in these and other parts of Yorkshire. And to 
one of their branches in all of which the Frobisher blood still 
runs, though now far off from its source belongs the famous 
Arctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is thus allied with 
the great navigator of the sixteenth century. 


It must not be supposed that the whitewashing or colour- 
washing of the interior walls of our old parish churches was a 
purely post-Reformation procedure. The matter of objection 
against the destroyers who carried out the spoliation of the 
churches in the sixteenth century is that they covered with 


whitewash the old frescoes and mural ornamentations as being 
Popish. But there was plenty of whitewash in the Pre-Reform- 
ation days. " The whitewashing of large surfaces of inner 
walling," says Dr. Cox, in his book The English Parish Church, 
" especially where too vast to admit of design or figure painting, 
was of general and continuous adoption. Eddius tells us how 
St. Wilfrid, when restoring York's ruined Minster, washed the 
walls whiter than snow. Five hundred years later Paul of Caen 
did the like at St. Albans. Instances could readily be cited of 
each intervening century, from the white-liming of the Norman 
quire of Peterborough in the twelfth century down to the latest 
sacristy rolls of the sixteenth century." But that the sixteenth 
century vandals did certainly cover up the beautiful old wall 
paintings with whitewash is proved by the frequent discovery of 
such paintings under successive coats of wash white or coloured. 


The following is the certificate relating to this foundation, 
which was given by the Commissioners appointed to survey the 
Chantries, Guilds, and Hospitals in the County of York at the 
time of the Reformation. It will be observed that the Com- 
missioners attribute the foundation to Thomas Maunsell, but add 
that no evidence in writing of that was produced to them. This 
looks as if the parish authorities of Darrington at that period 
were in ignorance of the fact that the Lady Chapel was founded 
by Warren de Scargill. It will also be observed that the name 
of the incumbent is given as Thomas Haukesworth : he, of 
course, was the last Chantry priest of Darrington. His duties 
are set forth in the first clause of this certificate he was to say 
mass for the soul of the Founder and for all Christian souls 
whose deaths should be reported to him by the curate of the 
parish church. How came it that the soul of the original founder, 
Warren de Scargill, had been forgotten at this time ? 

" The Chauntrie of our Lady in the Paroch Church of Daryng- 
tonne. Thomas Hawksworth, pr'est, incumbent. The same is 
of the ordinaunce of Thomas Maunsell, whereof they shewe no 
wrytinge. The said incumbent shulde pray for the sowle of the 
founder and all Cristen sowles, by the reporte of the curate of the 
same church and other parocheners ther. The same is within 

NOTES 201 

the saide paroche chirche. Goods vijs. vjd. Plate, nil. First, 
one cloise, iiij acres of lande and half one Kowegate, in the tenure 
of Piggill of Darynton, iiijs. iiijd. ; one ten. in Wymersley, 
called Gressinge landes, with one springe of woode, called Cony- 
crofte, in the tenure of Nicholas Marten xxxijs. vjd. ; one ten. 
with th' appurtenances in Whitley, late in the tenure of George 
Hogeson, xxxvjs. vijd. ; one messuage with th' appurtenances in 
Haughwoode, in the tenure of Willy am Adam xxvjs. ; ij closes, 
called Abbot Feyldes, with certain landes in Pudding Crofte in 
the Parochinge of Camsall ; certain landes in the Parochinge of 
Sandall, and j cloise in the Parochinge of Bramwith, contenynge 
ij acres, in the tenure of John Adam, xvs. viijd. ; a rent of xjs. 
paid by Roberte Fryston, furth of Altoftes ; a rent of iijs. paid 
by White, going furth of Altoftes, and a rent of iijd. of Thomas 
Nalson of Normanton. Sum of the rentall vjli. ixs. iiijd. where- 
of : Paiable to the King's Majestic yerlie for the tenth x.s. vijd. 
ob. q. ; to the King's Majestie furth of the landes in Whitley xvd. ; 
to Mr. Dawney furth of the same xijd. ; to Mr. Malivrey, xijd. ; 
to Sir William Gascoigne, Knight, th'elder, furth of the landes in 
Camsall viijs. xd. ; furth of the same landes to Brampwith 
Church vjd. ; to the said Sir William Gascoigne furth of the 
landes in Wymersley vs. xd. Sum of the allowance xxxs. ob. q. 
And so remanyth iiij li. xixs. iijd." 


It will be observed that when the enquiry into the possessions 
of the Lady Chapel of Darrington Church was made, the chantry 
possessed no plate of its own. The priest, probably, borrowed 
chalice and paten from the vicar whenever he celebrated. Of 
the pre-Reformation plate of Darrington there is no record what- 
ever : the church possesses nothing older than the plate given by 
Mrs. Dupier. But in the whole of Yorkshire, with its hundreds 
of parish churches, there is scarcely any really old plate. There 
is not a single communion vessel in the county of the time of the 
sixth Edward, though there is a large collection of Elizabethan 
plate. Of pre-Reformation plate there is nothing but six 
chalices. Three of these, ranging in date from 1250 to 1340, 
are at York Minster, and were all taken from the coffins of former 
Archbishops. There is also one at Beswick, another at Hinder- 
well, a third at Goathland, The Goathland chalice is probably 


the oldest vessel in use in England : it appears to date from 
very early in the fifteenth century. 


One of the best examples extant of the lives of poor folk in the 
villages in the seventeenth century is afforded by the following 
extract from the West Riding Sessions Rolls : 

" Doncaster, decimo die Octobris Anno regni Regis Caroli 
xiiii (1638). Coram. Sir Thomas Wentworth, Knt., Sir Edward 
Roades, Knt., Thos. Jopsen, Esq., Wm. West, Esq., and Robt. 
Rockley, Esq. 

Darrington. Edward Smith, of Darrington, a verie poore man, 
complayned and petitioned unto this Court that he hath lived a 
longe tyme in a poor cottage and now is threatened to be putt 
out and to lye out of doores this winter, there to wander and 
become vagrant, and soe for want to steale and pilfer, contrarie 
to Lawe and to be starved, unless some course be further taken 
by this Court. Now for as much as it appeared to this Court 
that said Edward Smith is aged and poore and that there is just 
cause to contynue the said Smith in the said cottage . . . ordered 
that he shall remayne and contynue if the owner thereof will 
consent ; If not, then Churchwardens and Overseers are to 
provide for him with consent of the Lord of the Mannour or such 
other person as shall permitt A Cottage to be built uppon his 
owne land for that purpose." 


An order made at the West Riding Sessions, held at Rother- 
ham on the gth July, 1638, throws an interesting sidelight 
on certain matters relating to the highway life ol that day. 
It restrains the selling of ale and beer to passengers and 
travellers on the high roade between Doncaster and Wentbridge, 
because of " the danger of infecting the inhabitants there with 
the contagion of the plague now in this dangerous tyme of sick- 
ness and visitation because they [the ale and beer sellers] enter- 
teyne and discourse with all manner of passengers and travellers, 
wanderers, and idle beggars." 

NOTES 203 


That the Dorothy Whitehead to whom the Justices ordered 
twelve pence a week towards the keeping of herself and three 
children had some strange experiences about this time appears 
from the following extract from the West Riding Sessions 

" ROTHERHAM. xvi Die Julii Anno xv Caroli Regis. Cor am. 
Sir Fras. Wortley, Knt. and Bart., Sir George Wentworth and 
Sir Edw. Rodes, Knts., John Reresbye, Thos. Jobson, Robt. 
Rockley, William West, and John Mauliverer, Esquires. 

" Mayor's Prison, Pontefract. Dorothy e Whitehead, wife of 
Deepinge Whitehead, late of Darrington, who is nowe prisoner 
at Pontefract, in the Mayor's prison there, informed this Court 
that she having the Wardshipp of her sonne, who had an estate 
of lands in Darrington, and wherein she claymes her Dowrye 
after the death of Thomas Sothabye, her former husband, longe 
since deceased, hath contynued in possession of some parte of 
that Landes by the space of eight weekes last past, but nowe is 
threatened to be removed and putt out of that towne against all 
Equitie, consideringe the interest she hath in that Landes 
ordered that she be settled and remayne in Darrington." 


In a work, entitled : A Register of Burials in York Minster, 
accompanied by Monumental Inscriptions, and Illustrated, with 
Biographical Notices by Robert H. Skaife, there are some parti- 
culars of this seventeenth century vicar. He is stated to have 
been ordained in May, 1635, by the Bishop of Ely ; his ordination 
to the diaconate and the priesthood taking place on the same day. 
He had taken his degree of S.T.B. (Bachelor of Divinity) before 
being instituted to the vicarage of Darrington in 1666. He held 
the living until his death. The entry of his burial is in the 
parish register of St. Martin-le-Belfry, York : " Mr. Charles 
Procter, ye minister of Darrington, was buried ye 27th of 
September, 1670, in ye Minster." Skaife says that he was 
probably of the same family as Thomas Procter, verger, and 
Nicholas Procter, clerk of the vestry, both interred in York 



There are several particulars of this vicar in Skaife's work on 
the burials in York Minster. George de Smeth (or as it is some- 
times spelt, Desmith) Kelly, M.A., was licensed to serve the cure 
of Doncaster, July, 1786. In November, 1788, he was collated 
to the stall of Normanton at Southwell. In January, 1789, he 
was instituted to the vicarage of Featherstone, co. York, which 
he held until his death. In January, 1791, he was instituted to 
the vicarage of Darrington, which he ceded in 1815. In July, 
1801, he was collated to the stall of Botevant at York ; he 
resigned it in the following year. In April, 1802, he was 
instituted to the vicarage of Ampleforth, and collated to that of 
Silkstone in June, 1804. His monument in York Minster refers 
to him as Canon Residentiary of this Cathedral, and from the 
entry of his burial he appears to have lived in Stonegate. A 
comparison of the dates of his various institutions and collations 
will show that he was one of the many pluralists of his time. 


Grove Hall, in the parish of Darrington, long the residence of 
the well-known family of Lee, has only been so called in modern 
times. It derives its name from the Greave Field, an expanse 
of land, partly in Pontefract, partly in Ferrybridge, partly in 
Darrington, which formed the estate of the Greave, or Sheriff. 
He had his house in the centre of this estate, probably on or near 
the site of the present Grove Hall, which was called Greave Hall, 
according to the late Mr. Holmes, until some ninety years ago. 
But it may be noted in this respect that it was called Grove Hall 
in the Darrington registers as far back as 1797. On February 27 
of that year William Kitson, Groom of the Stables at Grove (sic) 
Hall, was married to Mary Hargreave at Darrington Church by 
Mr. Faber, curate. 


Attempts to put down this ancient North country custom, 
which was closely akin to the Skimmington riding of the southern 
parts of England, were in evidence at the end of the eighteenth 

NOTES 205 

century. It was reported in the N ewcastle-upon-Tyne Courant 
of August 3rd, 1793, that at the Assizes held at Durham in the 
preceding week, " Thomas Jameson, Matthew Harrington, 
Geo. Ball, Jos. Rowntree, Simon Emmerson, Robert Parkin, and 
Francis Wardell, for violently assaulting Nicholas Lowes, of 
Bishop Wearmouth, and carrying him on a Stang, were sentenced 
to be imprisoned two years in Durham Gaol, and find sureties 
for their good behaviour for three years." But stang-riding 
went on in Yorkshire for a good eighty years after that. In a 
work on The Customs of Yorkshire, published in 1814, there is a 
plate representing a stang-riding, and the letterpress says, that 
the practice was " intended to expose and ridicule any violent 
quarrel between man and wife, and more particularly in instances 
where the pusillanimous husband has suffered himself to be 
beaten by his virago of a partner." There may be people still 
living in Darrington who will remember that on the last occasion 
on which stang-riding took place there, about 1875, the revival 
of the old custom was due to a beating given by a well-known 
Darrington woman to her much too amiable spouse. 


Students of the history of English village life will find the 
following works of great value from many standpoints : 
Baring-Gould's Old Country Life, Bowley's Wages in the United 
Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century, Brand's Antiquities, Chad- 
wick's Studies on Anglo-Saxon Institutions, Cox's The English 
Parish Church, Cox's Parish Registers of England, Cunningham's 
Growth of English Industry and Commerce, Cutts's Parish Priests 
and their People in the Middle Ages, Davenport's Economic 
Development of a Norfolk Manor, Ditchfield's Vanishing England, 
Ditchfield's The Old-Time Parson, Ditchfield's The Old English 
Country Squire, Fallow's Old Yorkshire, Fordham's Short History 
of English Rural Life, Cardinal Gasquet's Parish Life in Mediceval 
England, Green's Short History of the English People, Hone's 
Manors and Manorial Records, Jessopp's Before the Great Pillage, 
Jessopp's The Coming of the Friars, Kennedy's Parish Life under 
Elizabeth, Percy's Northumberland Household Book, Oman's 
Great Revolt 0/1381, Price's County of the White Rose, Prothero's 
Select Statutes, Rogers's History of Agriculture and Prices in 
England, Rogers's Six Centuries of Work and Wages, Tickner's 


Social and Industrial History of England, Thompson's Historical 
Growth of the English Parish Church, Thompson's Ground Plan 
of the English Parish Church, Snell's Customs of Old England, 
Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, Vinogradoffs Villeinage in England, 
and Webb's English Local Government. 


The asterisk (*) near the number of the page indicates that the name 
is repeated in the same page. 

Abbot of St. Mary's, 59 

Adam, John, 201 ; Robert, 54 ; 

Willyara, 201 
.Sischylus, no 
^Ethelburh, sister of the Kentish 

King Eadbald, 192 
Agar, Seth, Vicar of Darrington, 

III, 112 

Airey, Genl., 151 

Alemann, Walter, and John his 

brother, 196 
Alsi, a pre-Conquest owner of 

Darrington, 9*, 10*, 15, 191* 
Andrewes, Bishop Lancelot, 96 
Anglesey, Earl of (Christr. Villiers), 


Anne (Queen), 108*. 116 
Arch, Joseph, 164 
Arches, Osbert de, 196 
Aske, Robt., 49 
Aston, Hugo, 70 
Atkinson, Rev. Henry Sadgrove, 

M.A., etc.. Vicar of Darrington, 

vii, 178, 181, 183 
Aumale, Odo d , 16 
Austwick, Dionise or Dennis, 53- 

55* ; Joan, 53 ; John, 53, 55 ; 

Richard, 53, 54; Robt., 53; 

Thos., 53, 54 
Austwicks of Pontefract, 53-55 

Badewrd, Asketillus de, Robt. 
sonne of, 196* 

Bakewell, Robt., 117 

Baliols, the, 17 

Ball, Geo., 205 

Bankes, Thos., Lucia dau. of, 179 

Bapthorpe, Wm., 60 

Baret, pre-Conquest owner of Dar- 
rington, 9*, n, 15, 191* 

Barker, Capt., 150 ; Caroline 
Matilda, 149 ; Louisa, 149 

Barton family, 139140 

Barton, Henry, 139 ; Henry Jno. 
Hope, 140 ; John Hope, M.A., 
High Sheriff of Yorks, 1863, 140*, 
1 80* ; Mrs. Hope, 175, 178* ; 
John Watson, J.P., and Deputy 
Lieut., 139, 140* ; Mrs. Jno. 
Watson, 1 80 

Bernard, Edward, Duke of Norfolk, 

Berry of Pontefract, Clockmaker, 


Beurere, Drogo de, 16 

Beverley, Bishop of, 182 

Blair, Alexr., a Scotsman, 72 

Blind Jack of Knaresborough (John 
Metcalf), 87 

Blomfield, A. W., 180 ; Sir Arthur 
(architect), 175 

Bokil, Roger, Wm. son of, 194 

Boldero, Chas., 105 ; Edward, 105 ; 
John, 104, 105*, 131 

Bolderos, the, 105 

Bosevyle, John, 52 

Bowden, J. W., 150 

Bracy (Nevinson, the Highway- 
man), 98 

Bradforde, Cristofer, 55 

Braithwaite, Capt. Richard, 94, 96* 

Bretagne, Alan de (called Alain), 

Briercliffe, Samuel, Vicar of Dar- 
rington, in 

Brindley, 106 

Broke, John, Vicar of Darrington, 

Brotharton, Roger de, 52 

Bruce, Mrs. Isabella (now Blair), 72 

Brucea, the, 17 



Brummel, Beau, 135 

Burke, 127 

Burlison and Grylls, 175 

Burrow, Christopher, 112 ; James, 

112 ; Robert, Vicar of Darring- 

ton, ui*-ii3*, *53 I Robert, 

son of Robt., 112 ; Thomas, in 
Burun, Erneis de, an ancestor of 

the Byrons, 191 
Busli, de (a Norman), 16 ; Roger 

de, 191 
Butler, Bishop of Bristol, 93, 107, 

125 ; Henry, Isabella, dau. and 

heiress of, 61* 

Caird, Sir James, 170 

Calixtus II, Pope, 28 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 28 

Cardigan, Earl of, 90 

Cartell, John, 147 

Cecil, 126 

Chaloner, John, Vicar of Darring- 

ton, 152 

Charles I, xii, 79, 8 1, 92 
Charles II, 99, 115 
Charles Philip, Baron Stourton, 


Chester, Bishop of, 95 
Chetwynd-Stapylton, H. E., 6 
Christr. Villiers, Earl of Anglesey 

Anne, dau. of, 90 
Clare, Alexr., 72 
Clarkson, 127 
Clay, J. W., 80 
Clerke, John, 196 
Clifton, Sir Gervase, 60 
Cobden, Mr., 155 
Coke, Thos. Wm., 117* ; Mrs., 


Colling, Charles, breeder of short- 
horns, 117 

Constable, Sir Marmaduke, 60 
Conyers, Sir Gerard, Lord Mayor of 

London, 112, 113 
Copley, Sir Wm., 60 
Corby, Roger de, 52 
Coterell, John, Dean of the Free 

Chapel of St. Clement, 52 
Cotton, Mtris, 100 
Crewe, Marquess of, 135 
Cromwell, xii, 67, 79, 80 
Culpeper, Thomas, 60 
Curtheny, John de, 196 
Cusack, Sir Simon, Joanna, dau. of, 


Davenport, Mr., M.P., 174 

Davie, Thomas, 68 

Dawney, Mr., 201 

Dawson, Margaret, 147 

Dean of the Free Chapel of St. 

Clement in the Castle of Ponte- 

fract (John Coterell), 52 ; James 

Thwaites, 56 

Dean of St. Paul's (Tomline), 109 
Denison, E., 150 
Derham, Francis, 60 
Douke, Richard, Vicar of Darring- 

ton, 52, 198 

Doyle, Sir Francis Hastings, 137 
Drake, Dr. Francis (York), 112 ; 

Francis, Curate of Darrington, 


Dupeer, Solomon, 73*. 74* 
Dupier, Mrs. Elizh., 74*, 201* 
Durand sonne of Drew, 196* 
Durham, Bishop of (Cuthbert 

Tunstall), 59 

Eadwine, King of Northumbria, 


Eddius, 200 

Edmundson, Robert, tailor, 198 
Edward, the Confessor, xi, 6, 8, 14*, 


Edward I, 148 

Edward II, 52, 197 

Edward III, 52, 194, 198 

Edward VI, 77 

Eleanor, Queen, wife of Edward I, 


Elizabeth (Queen), 60, 77, 86, 116 
Elkanor, a black servant of Mr. 

Savile, 66 
Ellenborough, Lord, Hon. Frederica 

Selina Law dau. of, 140 
Elsi (or Alsi ?) a pre-Conquest 

owner of Darrington, 191 
Ely, Bishop of, 203 
Emmerson, Simon, 205 
Estcourt of Darrington, Baron 

(G. T. J. Sotheron-Estcourt), 152 
Estcourt, Rev. Edgar Edmund, 

151 ; Rev. Canon Edmund Wm., 

Rector of Long Newnton, Wilts, 

151 ; Rev. E. N. B., 180 ; Col. 

Jas. Bucknall, 150, 151 ; T. G. B., 

M.P. for Oxford University, 150* ; 

Thomas Henry Sutton, 150* 
Estcourts, the, 103 
Estotvilles, the, 16 



Faber, Mr. Curate, 204 

Fairfax, George, 94*, 95 ; Lord, 79 ; 
Thomas, Sergeant-at-Law, 60 ; 
Sir Thomas, 79 ; Dr. William, 
Rector of St. Peter's, Cornhill, 

and Vicar of East Ham, 94 ; , 


Falconer, Gervase, Dorothy dau. of, 


Farebrothers (Auctioneers), 139 
Farrar, Wm., Frances dau. of, 95 
Farrer, John, 62 ; Wm., 166 
Fawcett, Wm., Vicar of Darrington, 


Fawdrey, John, of London, 74 
Fergall the Red-Haired, 17 
Field, Edward, Mayor of Ponte- 

fract, 1 02 

Fisher, Cardinal, Bishop of Roches- 
ter, 48 

Fitz Gerald, Wm., 194 
Fitz Hughs, the, 17 
Fitz William, Earl, 26 ; Sir Wm., 
a knight of the Holy Sepulchre, 
19, 26 

Fitz Williams, the, 26*, 27, 89, 102 
Fitz Williams and de Scargills, 26- 


Fletcher, the Constable near How- 
ley, 100 

Fordham, Montague, 75, 77, 78 
Forrest, Thomas, of Leathley, 147 
Fossard, 17 
Foxcroft, Miss, 88, 89 
Foxe, Nicholas, 147 ; Wm., 52 
Frances, Lady Cardigan, 90 
Frank, Elizth, 91, 102, 103 ; 
Matthew, 102 ; Robert, 91, 102* 
Frobisher, Anthony, Vicar of Dar- 
rington, 52, 199* ; Catherine, 64, 
199 ; Isabella, 199 ; Sir Martin, 

Frobishers, 64 

Frobishers and Shackletons, 199 
Froude, 35 
Fryston, Robert, 201 
Fynney, Robt., 52 

Garrick, 106 
Gascoigne, Sir Wm., 201* 
Gateford, John de, walker (fuller), 


Gent, T. W., 115 
George III, 121, 135* 
George IV, 135, 136 

Gilbert son of Dama, 19* 

Gilbert who leased the Manor from 

the de Lacys, 27 
Gilberthorp, Thomas, 52 
Gill, Robert, 52 
Gladstone, W. .,140 
Glasgow, Lord, 135 
Glynne, Sir Stephen, 176 
Goldsmith, O., 106 
Gosfrid of Coutance (a Norman 

Bishop), 17 
Green (historian), 126 
Greenwood, James, 94*, 95*, 104 
Gully, John, M.P., 137 

Hamilton, Duke of, 137 

Hampton, Thomas, 52 

Harcourt, Rev. Wm. Vernon, son 
of the Archbishop of York and 
father of the statesman Sir Wm. 
Vernon Harcourt, 174 

Hardcastle, J., 100 ; Capt. Wm., 

Hardwicke, Lord Chancellor, 107 

Harewood, Earl of, Edward Las- 
celles, 131 

Hargreave, Mary, 204 

Harold, 14 

Harrington, Wm., 52 

Hawke, Lord, of Womersley, 140 

Haukesworth, Thos., last Chantry 
priest of Darrington, 200* 

Heath, Archbishop of York, 60 

Heaton, Michael, constable of Dar- 
rington, 70 

Henry II, 18 

Henry IV, 198 

Henry V, 38 

Henry VIII, 35, 59, 60, 75, 108 

Henry Howard of Glossop, 134 

Hereward the Wake, xi, 10 

Herring, Frederick John, 138* 

Herryson, Hughe, 55 

Heathfield, Daniel, Vicar of Dar- 
rington, in 

Heywood, Oliver, Nonconformist, 
100, 101 

Hill and Sons, organ builders, 175 

Hoadley, Bishop, 107 

Hoare, John, 103 

Hodgson, Ellis Leckonby, 132* ; 
Mary Ellen, 132 ; Thomas Bent, 

Hogeson, George, 201 

Holgate family, 58-63 


Holgate, Bartholomew, 62, 63, 92 
Frances, 62, 63 ; Francis, 62* 
George (2) and wives, 61*, 62* 
George son of Thomas, 64 
Henry, 61 ; Katherine, 61 
Robert, Archbishop of York, 58- 
61*, 199 ; Thomas, 58, 61*, 62*, 

Holmes, Richard, of Pontefract, vii, 
183, 191-194, 204 

Hook, Dean, 182 

Hope, Jas. (Edinburgh), Juliana 
dau. of, 140 ; J. R., 140 

Hotham, Sir John (Scorborough), 89 

Houghton, Lord, 135 

Houlds worth, Robert, clerk, 58 

Hume (historian), 125 

Hyrste, Elizth., 55 ; John, 55 

Ingramson, Wm., smith, 198 
Inman, Marmaduke, 68 
Isabella, Queen of Spain, 194 

ackson, John, jockey, 136 
ameson, Thomas, 205 
essopp, Dr. A., 31, 33, 40, 50 
obson (or Jopson), Thomas, 203 
ohn of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 


ohnson, Dr. S., 106 
ones, John.Vicarof Darrington,i53 
opson (or jobson), Thomas, 202 
owett, John son of Thomas, 193; 

Dr. Joseph, tutor, 173 
Juliana Barbara, dau. of Henry 
Howard of Glossop and sister of 
Bernard Edward, Duke of Nor- 
folk, and widow of Lord Petre, 
133, 134 

Katherine Howard (Queen), 60 

Kay, John, 62 

Kelly, Geo. De Smeth, Vicar of 

Darrington, 153, 204 
Kent, Duchess of, 143 
Kingsley, Rev. Chas., 162 
Kirkstall, Abbot of, 193, 194 
Kitson, Wm., 204 

Lacy, Lacey, Lascy, Lascey, Lasci 
the de Lacys, 18, 19*, 20, 27, 
37, 102, 191, 195 

Lacy, Albreda de, wife of Robt. de 
Lissours, 19, 26 ; Edmund de, 
30 ; Henry de, 27, 30*, 40 ; 
Ilbert de, xi, 12-15, I 7*, *9, 80 ; 
Roger de, Constable of Chester, 
193 ; Robt. de, 18, 194, 195 

Lambert, General, 102 ; , xii 

Lancaster, Duke of, John of Gaunt, 

Langdale, Sir Marmaduke, 80 

Larryman, Jennett, spinster, 62, 

Lascelles, Hon. Arthur, 132 ; 
Daniel, 131 ; Edward, Viscount 
Lascelles and Earl of Harewood, 
131* ; Edwin of Gawthorpe, 
Baron Harewood, 131* 

Laveracks, the, 193 

Law, Hon. Frederica Selina, wife of 
Henry James Ramsden, 140 

Lay, Captain, 73, 74 

Leatham, Edmund, 182 ; Mrs., 182 

Leckie, Miss Eliza, 182 

Lee, Mrs., 180 ; Richard Thomas, 
180 ; W. F., 180 

Lees of Grove Hall, 180, 204 

Leeming, Charles, 197 ; Henry, 197 

Leicester, Earl of, 118 

Leigh, Mrs. Anne (dau. of Lord 
Savile), 94 

Lissours, Robt. de, 19 

Llandaff, Bishop of, Robt. Holgate, 

Lodge, Elizth., 83 

London, Lord Mayor of (Sir Gerard 
Conyers), 112 

London, Lord Mayor, Aldermen and 
Citizens of, 113 

Long, Christopher, 102 ; Capt. 
John, 102 

Longley, Sir Robert, preste, 55 

Longvillers, Eudo de, 195 ; Agnes 
his wife, 195 

Lonsdale, Viscount, 104 

Lowcock, Prudence, 68 

Lowes, Nicholas, 205 

feowther, Hon. Anthony, 104* ; 
Sir Richard of Swillington, 79 

Lowthers, the, 105 

Lyndley, Daniel, Vicar of Darring- 
ton, in 

Maclagan, Dr., Archbishop of York, 

Manning, Cardinal, 140 



Mare, Wm. del, 198 

Marr, John (tailor), and wife Lucy, 


Harrington, Matthew, 205 
Martin, Nicholas, 71*, 72, 201 
Marvel, Andrew, 117 
Mary (Queen), 60 

Master, Richard (of Aldington), 3 8, 39 
Mauleverer, Mauliverer, Malivrey, 

John, 203 ; Sir Thos., Bart., of 

Allerton Park, 68 ; Mr., 201 
Maunsell or Mansell, Thomas of 

Cridling, 28, 29*, 198, 200; Agnes 

wife of, 198 
Mawson, Thomas, saddletremaker, 

Meare, Wm. de, and Agnes his wife, 

tailors, 198 
Medley, Martha, 104 
Melbourne, Lord, 150 
Mellish, Harry (Squire of Blyth), 

135, 136 
Metcalf, John (Blind Jack of 

Knaresborough), 87 
Methley, Bartholomew, 58 
Millington, Peter, 148 
Milnes, Robt. Pemberton, 135, 136 ; 

Rodes, 135*, 136 
Mitton, Ralph de, 148 
Mittons, the de, Lords of Mitton on 

the Yorkshire-Lancashire border, 

More, Hannah, 126 ; Robt., 102 ; 

Sir Thomas, 48, 76 
Moseley, Sir Hugh, Priest, 56, 57 
Mowbray, Robt. de, 16 

Nalson, Thos., 201 

Nevinson, Highwayman, xiv*, 96- 


Nevile, Francis, 62 
Nevilles, the, 17 
Newman, Cardinal, 150, 152* 
Newton, 126 
Neweth, Robt., 58* 
Newyth, Richard, 52 
Nicholas p'son of Tickhill, 196 
Nightingale, Florence, 151 
Noel, Alan, Richard son of, 194, 195 
Norfolk, Duke of, Bernard Edward, 

134 ; Thomas, 59 

Gates, Titus, 132 
Odin, 6 

Oliver, Mrs., 180 
Oswy, xii 

Palmerston, Lord, 164 

Pannell, Mary, sentenced to death 

as a witch, 97, 98 
Parkin, Robt., 205 
Paul of Caen, 200 
Paulinus, a Roman Missionary, 7 
Pease, Geo., Vicar of Darrington, 

153*, 154. i?2* 

Peckham, Archbishop, 43 

Peel, Sir Robt., 150 

Pell, John, overseer, 83* 

Penda, xii 

Percies, the, 16 

Percole, Alan, tailor, 198 

Petre, Hon. Edwd. Robt., M.P., 
High Sheriff of Yorks, Lord 
Mayor of York, 133, 134, 139 

Petre, Lord, Robt. Edward, 132*, 


Piggill of Darrington, 201 
Pontefract, John de, 52 
Pontefract, Mayor of, Edwadr 

Field, 102 
Pontefract, Prior and Convent of, 

51, 52*, 56, 197, 198 
Pontefract Royalist Alderman, 53 
Pope, the (1321), 194 
Pope Calixtus II, 28 
Pope (poet), 1 06 
Pouelington, Hugh de, 196 
Power, Hy., Mary dau. of, 61* 
Priestley, 106 
Prior and Convent of St. John at 

Pontefract, 51, 52*, 56, 197, 198 
Prior of Watton (East Riding), 59 
Procter, Chas., Vicar of Darrington, 

in, 203 ; Nicholas, clerk of the 

vestry, 203 ; Thomas, verger, 

Pullin, Thos., Vicar of Darrington, 

Pusey, Dr., 150 

Raglan, Lord, 151* 

Raikes family, the, 174 

Raikes, Agnes Augusta, 174 ; 
Henry, 174 ; Hy. Cecil, Post- 
master-General, 174 ; Mrs., 181 ; 
Robert, founder of Sunday- 
schools, 126, 175 

Raine, Dr., 51 


Ralfe, son of William son of 

Adelinus, 196 
Ramsden, Hy. Jas. and Florence 

Mary Annabella dau. of, 140 ; 

John, 102 ; Sir John, 62, 84, 85 
Ray, Ann, 149 ; Robt., 149 
Registrar-General, 65 
Rein vile, Hernem de, Agnes dau. 

oi 195 

Renilla, Herni de, 195 
Reresbye, John, 203 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 106 
Ripon, Mayor of, 68 
Robert Edward, Lord Petre, 132*, 


Robert, sonne of William, 196 

Robin Hood, xi 

Rochester, Bishop of, Cardinal 

Fisher, 48 

Rochford, Lady, 60, 61 
Rockley, Robt., 84, 85, 202, 203 
Rodes, Roades, Sir Edward, 84, 85, 

202, 203 

Roger, sonne of William, 195 
Roman Pontiff, 48 
Romilles, the, 16 
Rooke, Sir Geo., 74 
Rowntree, Jos., 205 
Rutland, Duke of, 137 

St. Francis of Assisi, 31* 

St. Paul, John, 58 

St. Paule, Henry de, 196 ; Thomas 
de, 196 

St. Richard of Wyche, Bishop of 
Chichester, 30 

St. Wilfrid, 200 

Salisbury, Lord, 174 

Savile family, branches of the, 88, 92 

Savile, Elizth,. 103* ; Frances 
(Lady Cardigan), 90 ; Sir Henry 
of Thornhill, Sheriff of Yorkshire, 
etc., 27, 88, 89 ; John, 93 ; Sir 
John (Baron Savile of Ponte- 
fract), 62, 92*, 93* ; Katherine, 
93 ; Lord, Earl of Sussex, 82 ; 
Mary, 93 ; Robert of Howley, 
89 ; Samuel, 91, 102, 103*, 146 ; 
Sarah, 103*, 146, 149 ; Sir 
Thomas (2nd Lord Savile of 
Howley), 89 ; Viscount, of 
Castlebar, 89 ; William, 93 ; 
Sir Wm. of Castlebar, 62, 90 

Saviles, the, 27, 63, 102, 146 

Sayle, Dr., 180 ; Mrs., 180 

Scargill, Agnes de, 198 ; Clara de, 
40, 184 ; Warren de, 19, 27*, 29*, 
40*, 46, 58, 139, 184, 200* ; Wm., 
of Cridling, 29, 58 

Scargills, the, 29, 46 

Scargills and Fitz Williams, 26-29 

Schildewyke, Geffrey de, 196 

Scholey, Alicia, 64 

Scholeys, 64 

Scott, Sir Walter, 140, 142 

Scropes, the, 17 

Secroft, John de, 51 

Shackletons and Frobishers, 199 

Shackleton, Sir Ernest, Arctic Ex- 
plorer, 199 ; Henry, son of 
Michael, 199 

Shillito, John, Elizth. dau of, 64 

Shillitos, 64 

Shirwood, Richd., 52 

Shrewsbury, Earl of, 60 

Sidney Herbert, Lord Herbert of 
Lea, War Secretary, 151* 

Simpson, Anthony, 68 

Singleton, James, vii 

Siward of Northumbria, 16 

Skaife, Robt. H., 203, 204 

Smith, Edward, of Darrington, 
202* ; John, of Newland, 104 ; 
John, Wentbridge Constable, 83 ; 
John Silvester, 104 ; Rev. 
Sydney, 173, 174 

Sondes, Sir Michael, Frances dau. 
of, 90 

Sothabye, Thomas, 203 

Sotheron, Alexr., Procter of the 
Spittlehouse, Beamsley, and 
Francis and Johan his sons, 147 ; 
Alice, wife of Richard, 146* ; 
Frank, officer of high rank in the 
Royal Navy, 149* ; John, 147*, 
148 ; John de, 146 ; Sir John de, 
Lord of Mitton and Steward to 
Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I, 

148 ; Lewis, Capt., R.N., 149 ; 
Lucy Mary, 150 ; Marmaduke, 
147 ; Richard, 146, 147 ; Sir 
Roger, 148 ; Robert, of Durham, 
147, 149 ; Sir Robert, of New 
Elvet, 148, 149* ; Thomas, 148 ; 
William, 103, 146*, 147, 149* ; 
William, clerk, 149 ; Wm., 
Merchant-venturer of Newcastle, 

149 ; Sir Wm., 149 
Sotherons, the, 102, 146* 
Sotherons of Holme on Spalding 

Moor, 149 



Sotheron-Estcourt, Rev. E. W., 
152 ; G. T. J., created Baron 
Estcourt of Darrington, 1903, 
152, 180 ; Mr., 161 ; Mrs. 
T. H. S. f 152 

Sotheron-Estcourts, the, 103 

Soothill, Thomas, 88 ; Elizabeth 
dau. of, 26, 27*, 88, 89 

Southey, Robert, 94 

Speight, Richard, Darrington Con- 
stable, 83 

Spink family, 119 

Stackhouse, Rev. Thomas, 108 

Stafford, Lord, Laura Maria, dau. 

of, 135 
Stanford, Henry de, first Vicar of 

Darrington, 20, 51 
Stanhope, Edward, 62 
Stapels or Stepels, 6 
Stapleton family, 19, 58-63 
Stapleton, Clara de, 19, 27*, 29*, 

46, 58 ; Haimeric de, 194 ; 

Henry de, 195 ; Hugh de, 19, 

28 ; Robt. de, 194 ; William de, 


Stapletons or Stapeltons, 6 
Stavard, Richd., 195 
Stephenson. Geo., 141 ; James, 132 
Stevenson, Robt. Louis, 73 
Steward of the Honour of Ponte- 

fract (Sir Henry Savile), 27 
Steward of the Manor of Wakefield 

(Sir Henry Savile), 27 
Stockdale, Thomas, of Bilton Park, 

Stourton, Baron, Charles Philip, 


Sturmin, John, 196 
Sussex, Earl of (Lord Savile), 80, 

82, 89* 
Swift, Dean, xi 

Taylor, Robert, 52 

Taylour, Richard, webster, 198 

Tew, T. W., vii, 139 

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, 194 

Thomas, sonne of Ankelinus, 196 

Thomson, Dr., Archbishop of York, 

Thor, 7 

Thoresby, R. (antiquary), 94 
Thornhill, Thomas, 62 
Thornton, Robt., 52 
Thurstan, Archbishop of York (a 

Norman), 28*, 29, 193 

Thwaites, Thomas (Prior), 56*, 57* 

Thwayte, John, mason, 198 

Tickner, Dr., 125 

Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, 109 

Torre, Rev. H. J., 132 

Tourge, John, 52 

Townshend, Lady, 117 ; Lord, 116, 

Treshar, Wm. (smith), and wife 

Agnes, 198 
Treasurer to Charles I (Earl of 

Sussex), 89 
Tull, Jethro, 116* 
Tunstall, Cuthbert, Bishop of 

Durham, 59 

Turpin (highwayman), xiv*, 98, 99 
Twisleton, John, 29 

Ulchil, a pre-Conquest owner ol 
Stapleton, 9, 10*, 15 

Vesci, Ivo de, 17 

Victoria (Queen), 118, 143, 144 

Wakefield, John de, 51 

Walker, Samuel, 95 ; Samuel, elder 
and younger, 104* 

Walkers, the, 105 

Walpole, 126 

Waltheof, 16* 

Warde, Richd., 70 

Wardell, Francis, 205 

Warrene, Earl, 16 

Warwick, Lady, 164 

Waterhouse, Michael, Vicar of Dar- 
rington, in 

Watklnson, James, 148 

Watson, Dr., Bishop of Llandaff, 

Watt, 1 06 

Waugh, Richd., Vicar of Darring- 
ton, in 

Waynflete, John, 52 

Webster, Wm., Parish Constable, 

Wentworth family, 26 

Wentworth, Mistress Barbara, 60 ; 
General, 127 ; Sir George, 203 ; 
Sir John, 60 ; Sir Thos., 60, 84, 
85, 202 

Wesley, Charles, 125 ; John, 125- 
127, 129 

West, Wm., 202, 203 


White, Mr., 100 

Whitehead, Deepinge, 203 ; 

Dorothy, 83, 203 
Whitehouse, Thomas, Vicar of 

Darrington, in 
Whitfield, George, 125 
Wilberforce, 127 
Willets, Rev. Charles, 112*; 

Lyonel, 112 

William of Malmesbury, 13 
William the Conqueror, xi, i i*-i4*, 

i6*-i8, 26, 191 
William, sonne of Adelimis, steward 

of ye Lord the King, 196 
William, son of Walter, the chaplain 

at Darrington, 192 
Wilson, Nathaniel, 104 
Winchelsey, Archbishop, 44 
Wolsey, Archbishop of York, 

Wood, Anthony a, 96 ; Sir Chas., 


Woodrove, Richd., Vicar of Dar- 
rington, 69*, 70*, in ; Dorothy, 
wife of, 70 

Worlidge, T., 115 

Wortley, Sir Francis, 203 

Wrangham, Archdeacon, 172-174 ; 
Rev. Digby Strangeways, Vicar 
of Darrington, 172*, 174-176, 
180-182 ; Rev. Francis, Rector of 
Hardenhuish, vii, 148, 183; Mrs., 
181 ; Mr. Sergeant, 172 

Wright, Joseph, 70 

York, Archbishops of, Patrons of 

Darrington, in 
York, Lord Mayor of (E. R. Petre), 

Young, Arthur, 118 

Zouche, Archbishop, 194 


The asterisk (*) near the number of the page indicates that the name 
is repeated in the same page. 

Abbotsford, 140 

Aberford, 4 

Ackworth, xv, 30, 199 ; Church, 18 

Acomb, 113 

Adwick-le-Street, 60, 84 

Africa, 163 

Aire (river), xi, xiv, 12, 13, 18 

Airedale, Upper, 16 

Aldington, Kent, 38, 39 

Almondbury, nr. Huddersfield, 18 

Altofts, nr. Wakefield, 199, 201* 

America, 158, 168* 

Ampleforth, 147, 204 

Askern, 159 

Aughton, 49 

Australia, 168, 169 

Badminton, 174, 175 
Badsworth, xv, 176 ; Church, 18 
Baghill, 80 
Barnesdale, xi, xv, 3, 144 ; Bar, 3, 

Barnoldswick in Craven, Cistercian 

house at, 18 
Barwick, nr. Leeds, 18 
Batley, 90 

Bawtry, The Crown, 143 
Beal, 9* 
Beckwith, 197 
Beswick, 201 
Beverley, 48, 148 ; The Tiger Inn, 


Birkin Church, 18 
Birmingham, 152 
Bishop Wearmouth, 205 
Black Clump, xv, 100 
Blathroyd, 92 
Boroughbridge, 51 ; The Crown, 

Bradley, 92 

Bramley, 90 

Brampton, 148 

Bramwith, 201* 

Bretton, 60 

Bridlington, 158 

Britain, 4 

British Museum, 4, 103 ; Library, 

Brockodale, xv*, 97*, 98, 144 ; 

Woods, 175 
Brodsworth, 191 
Broomfleet, 175 
Brotherton (Broderton), 53 ; Marsh, 


Bruneswald, xi, 10 
Buckingham, 67 
Bugthorpe, East Riding, 184 
Burghwallis, 85 
Burley, 90 
Burton, 139 

Burton Agnes, East Riding, 98 
Byram, 104 

Calder (river), 3, 7, 13 

Cambridge, 96, 99 ; Jesus College, 

181 ; Trinity Hall Lane, 173 
Campsall, 85*, 191, 201* ; Church, 


Cardigan Estates, 102 
Carfax, 192, 193* ; at Darrington, 

Carleton, xii, xiv, xv, 20, 79, 131, 

139 ; Leipsic Lodge, 131 
Carleton, nr. Snaith, 74 
Castlebar (Ireland), 90 
Castleford, 4, 54 ; Church, 18 
Catterick, North Riding, 94, 96 
Catterick Bridge, The George, 143 
Charnwood Forest, 117 
Chequer Fields, 80 



Cheshire, 139 

Cheviots, xiii 

Chippenham, 183 

Clapham, in 

Cleveland, 173 

Clifford, nr. Bramham, 148 

Coleby, Lincolnshire, 191 

Copley, 92 

Conisborough, 13, 1 6 

Connemara, 22 

Cotherstone, 17 

Cottingham, 16, 148 

Cottonend (Northamptonshire), 70 

Craven, 16 

Cridling, xi, 28, 29, 56, 71, 85*, 86, 

198* ; Chapel of Ease, 182 ; 

Park, 85, 183 
Crimea, 151 
Cumberland, 48 

Dale Fields, xiv 

Danum (Doncaster), 3 

Darfield, 191 

Darrington (Darthington), xi-xvi, 
3-6, 9-15, 18*. 20*, 25, 27*, 28, 
30*, 32, 53*. 54. 6 . 62-65, 69, 
72-74, 79*, 80*, 82-85, 88-93, 
97*. 99. IO 4 II][ > 112*, 114*, 
118120*, 122, 124, 126129, 
I4i*-i43, 146, 148, 149*. 152, 
154, 158, 160, 162-165, 170, 172, 
175, 176, 179, 181, 182, 187-189, 
192-195,197-199,202-205; Black 
Clump, xv, 100 ; Carfax, 192 ; 
Cattle Laith, 159 ; Church, 18*, 

20, 27*, 40-47, 51, 53, 54*, 57* 
61, 62, 73, 74, 95*, I03*-io5, 112, 
134, 149, 152, 153, 158, 165, 175, 
176181, 183, 184, 204 ; Con- 
valescent Home, 182 ; Cross 
Roads, 21, 162 ; Crown Inn, xiii, 

21, 143 ; Hall, xvi, 21*, 36, 93, 
103*, 131, 181 ; HolgateHill, 62 ; 
Infant School, 182 ; Lady Chapel 
200, 201 ; Leys, 62 ; Lych-gate, 
182 ; Manor, 19*, 26, 88, 92, 123, 
146, 149, 150, 191 ; Manor 
House, 21*, 22, 36 ; Methodist 
Chapel, 128, 130, 151, 158 ; 
Mill, xv* ; New Vicarage, 154 ; 
Parish Stocks, 179 ; Reading 
Room, 182 ; Scargill Chapel, 27, 
193 ; Schoolmaster's House, 182 ; 
Spring Gardens, 156 ; Tithe 
barn, 157 

Derwent, the, 49 

Devizes, 150, 151 

Don (river), xv 

Doncaster, xi, xiii*, 3, 60, 83-85, 

99, 127, 143, 158, 202*, 204 
Dorsetshire, 188 
Durham, 48, 49, 59, 141, 149 ; 

Gaol, 205 

East Ardsley, 90 

East Hardwick, xv 

Edinburgh, 72, 120, 136, 142 

Elizabeth of Newcastle on Tyne, 149 

Elmete, Forest of, 18 

Elmsall, 13 

Ely, 10 

Ely House, 95 

England, xi, 48, 81, 116-118, 121, 

123, 126, 127, 134, 135, 143, 162, 

168, 188, 189, 193, 202 
Ep worth, 127* 
Essex, xvi, 99 
Europe, 48 
Eversley, 162 
Ewood Hall, nr. Halifax, 95 

Featherstone, 204 ; Church, 18 

Fens, the, 10 

Ferrybridge, xi, xiii*, xiv*, 12, 13, 

80, 84, 85, 94, 98, 100, 127, 142*, 

143*, 163, 204 
Field Names, 201 
Flamborough, 68* 
Flanders, 98 
Foston-le-Clay, 173 
Fountains Abbey, 2 8 
Fox and Hounds, 98 
France, 64, 118, 193 
Fryston, 199 ; Church, 18 

Gadshill, nr. Rochester, 99* 

Gal way, 22 

Garraway Coffee House, Change 

Alley, London, 139 
Gibraltar, 74 
Gildersome, 90 
Gilling, 17 
Gloucester, 126 
Goathland, 201* 
Goodmanham, 148 
Goole, xv 
Grammar Schools, York and Malton, 




Grantham, 99, 120 ; The Angel, 143 
Gonerby Hill, nr. Grantham, 141* 
Gravesend, 99 
Great North Road, xi, xii*, xv, 3, 

94> 99*, 120, 141-143, 163, 194* 
Greave Field, 204 
Greave Hall, see Grove 
Greece, 64 
Grove, xi ; Hall, xiii, 204* 

Haigh, 92 

Halifax, 88, 92 

Hallamshire, 16 

Hardenuish (Wilts), 183 

Hare wood, 131 

Harrogate, 159 

Harthill, 148 

Hatfield, 16 

Headingley, 90 

Hemsworth, 59, 60 

Hensall, 191 

Hinderwell, 201 

Holderness, 16* 

Holkham, 117* 

Holme on Spalding Moor, 147*, 148 

Horsham, Sussex, 193 

Hospital of Jerusalem, 196 

House of Commons, 102, 121 

House of Lords, 107 

Howley, 88, 89, 92 

Huggate, 191 

Hull, 59, 172, 186 

Hullenedge, 92 

Humber, 12, 13*, 175 

Hungary, 168 

Hunmanby, nr. Bridlington, 172, 


Huntingdon, 99 ; The Falcon, 143 ; 
The George, 143 

Ireland, 7 

Jerusalem, 196 

Kellington, 9*. 70 

Killingley, 148 

Kimber worth, 191 

Kingston-upon-Hull, 148 

Kirby Moorside, 16 

Kirk Smeaton, 9, 90, 176, 193-196, 

199 ; Church, 18 
Kirkby Malzeard Castle, 17 

Kirkby Overblow, 148 
Kirkstall, 90 ; Abbey, 18, 193, 195 
Knaresborough, 16, 68* 
Knottingley, xii, 9, 79, 85*, 199 ; 
Church, 1 8 

Lake District, 107 

Lancashire, xiv, 18, 127 

Lancaster, 48 ; Duchy of, 17 

Land's End, n 

Leconfield, 16 

Ledsham, 97* ; Church, 18 

Leeds, 90, 158 ; Public Reference 
Library, 199 

Legiolum (Castlef ord) , 3 

Leicester, 117 

Lincoln, 48 

Lincolnshire, 16, 18, 125, 127 

Liverpool, 167 

Liversedge, 90 

Llandaff, 59 

London, xii-xiv, 72, 90, 98, 104, 
in, 112, 116*, 120, 124, 135, 141, 
142, 159, 180, 186 ; British 
Museum, 4, 103 ; British Museum 
Library, 113 ; Charterhouse, 48 ; 
Ely House, 95; Garraway's 
Coffee House, Change Alley, 139 ; 
Guildhall Chapel, 113 ; Inns of 
Court, 96 ; Parish of St. Andrew, 
Holborn, 105 ; Rolls House, 38 ; 
St. Paul's, 109 ; Somerset House, 
90 ; Tower of London, 61 

Long Newnton, Gloucestershire, 

Lupset, 92 

Malton, 17, 172 ; Grammar School, 


Manchester, 136, 139 
Methley, 92 
Mexborough, 92 
Mitton, 148 
Monkhill, 56 
Morley, 90 

Mowbray, Vale of, 16 
Mulgrave, 17 

Nevinson's Leap, 98 
Newark, 89, 104 
Newcastle, 59, 79, 127, 149 
Newhall, 92 
New Malton, 70 


New York, 50 

New Zealand, 169 

Nidderdale, 4* 

Norfolk, 116 

Normanton, 201 

North Dalton (East Riding), 61, 


North Sea, 169 
Northumberland, 48 
Norton, 85 

Nostell Church, 195 ; Priory, 18 
Nottinghamshire, 191 

Old Gate Inn, 98 

Osgoldcross, Wapentake of, xi, 71 

Oswestry, 70 

Ouse (river), 12 

Owston Church, 18 

Oxford, 80, 89, 125, 165, 193 ; 
Corpus Christi College, 150 ; 
Exeter College, 152 ; Oriel 
College, 96, 150 ; Queen's College, 
in ; St. John's College, 172 ; 
University, 150* 

Oxfordshire, 116 

Penthorp, nr. Wakefield, 100 

Peterborough, 200 

Pickering, 17 

Poland, 79 

Pontefract, xi*, xiv, xv, 18*, 30*, 
3i 53*. 54*. 58, 60, 61*, 71, 73*, 
74*, 79*, 83-85, 88, 98*, 102*- 
104, 114, 127, 128, 146*, 149, 162, 
164, 183, 191, 194, 195, 199, 203 ; 
Castle, xi, 13, 17, 56, 60, 79*, 103, 
193 ; Church, 18 ; Market Cross, 
74 ; Marl Pit Lane, 192, 193 ; 
Mayor's Prison, 203 ; Priory of 
St. John, 18, 30, 56, 192* ; 
Ropergate, 61 ; Cross of St. 
Oswald, 74 ; Star Inn, 70 ; 
West Field Lane, 192, 193 

Ravens worth, 17 
Rheims Cathedral, 28 
Ribblesdale, 16 
Richmond, 17 
Ripon, 68 
Roall, 9* 
Rochester, 107 
Roman Road, 3, 4 
Rome, 64 

Rotherham, 71, 83, 202, 203 
Rowley, 148 
Russia, 1 68 

St. Albans, 200 

St. Mary's Abbey, York, 28 

Salisbury, See of, 150 

Salton, 147 

Sandal, 16, 201 ; Castle, 100 ; 
Church, 101 ; Three Houses Inn, 

Sandal, nr. Pontefract, 148 

Saxby, Lincolnshire, 139, 140 

Scarborough, 158 

Scargill Chantry, Darrington, 27 

Scottish Border, 143 

Seaton, 148 

Sempringham, 59 

Senlac, n, 14 

Shafton, 191 

Sheffield, 16* 

Sherburn, Manor of, 59 

Sherwood Forest, xi 

Shipton Moyne, the Par. Ch. of 
Estcourt, Gloucestershire, 152 

Silkstone, 204 

Skelbrooke, 84, 85* 

Skellowe, 85 

Skipton, 1 6 

Slingsby Castle, 17 

Smeaton, see Kirk Smeaton 

Snydale Hall, 132 

South America, 168 

South Cave, East Riding, 172, 175 

South Kirkby, 199 

Southwell, 204 

Spaldingholme, 147 

Spofforth, 16 

Sprotborough on the Don, 26*, 88, 

Stamford, 99 ; The George, 143 

Stanhope (Durham), 107 

Stapleford, 6* 

Stapleton, xi, xv*, 5, 6*, 9, 10, 13- 
15*, 18, 21, 27, 29, 56, 62*, 63, 
80, 85*, 92-95. 97, I3I-I34, 137. 
I 3^ 175, 180, 194*, 195, 198 ; 
Castle Farm, 132 ; Chapel, 27, 
28*, 182, 193 ; Hall, 131, 134, 
137 ; Manor, 19*, 27, 58*, 61*, 
63, 92, 123, 131, 139, 140 ; Park, 
131, 132, 138, 182 

Stilton, The Bell, 143* 

Stubbs Walden, 85, 199 

Suffolk, xvi 



Swale (river), 17* 

Swinfleet, 128 

Swinton (Lancashire), 140 

Tadcaster, 4, 51, 99 

Tanshelf, 192 

Tateshale (old name of Pontef ract) , 

12, 17 
Tees, 17* 
Thames, 99 
Thirsk, 17 ; Castle, 17 ; Three Tuns 

Inn, 173 

Thorne, 16, 196 ; Waste, xiv 
Thornhill, 88 
Thorpe, xv, 196 
Thorpe Audlin, 98, 194 
Thrybergh, 91, 102 
Topcliffe, 1 6, 51 
Towton, xii 

Tuxford, The Crown, 143 
Tyburn, 61 
Tyne, 13 

Universities, 50 

Vale of Mowbray, 16 ; of York, xiv 

Wadsworth (Wapentake of Tick- 
hill), 146 

Wakefield, xi, xiii, 100, 101, 104, 
146, 158 

Wapentake of Osgoldcross, xi, 71 

Wapentakes of Agbrigg and Morley, 
Barkston Ashe and the burrough 
of Leedes, 71 

Wapentakes of Stafforth and Tick- 
hill, Staynecross and Osgod- 
crosse, 71 

Watergate, 92 

Waterloo, 135 

Wath, 92 

Wensleydale, 17 

Went (river), xv, 5, 97, 141, 175, 

Wentbridge, xii, xiv, xv*, 56*, 83- 
85, 90, 94, 96-100, 119, 120, 141*, 
142, 176, 180, 193-198, 202 ; Bay 
Horse Inn, 144*, 145 ; Blue Bell 
Inn, 99, 120 ; Chantry Chapel, 
56, 175 ; Church, 175*, 180, 182 ; 
Dale Fields, 141* ; Gate Inn. 
101 ; Went Hill, xv, 9, 195, 196 

West Ardsley, 90 

West Riding of Yorkshire, xi, 127 

Westmorland, xiv, 48 

Wetherby, 4, 51 

Whit ley, 201 

Whixley, 191 

Winchester (capital of England), 14 

Wolds, 3 

Womerslev, xv*, 85, 140, 199, 201* ; 
Church," 1 8 

Woodkirk, 90 

Woolley Park, 28 

Wortley, nr. Pontef ract, 98, 100 

Wrenthorp, 94 

Wressell, 16 

York, xi, xiv*, xv, 4*, 13, 48, 59*, 
95, 97, 99*. ioo, 104, 112, 113*, 
135, 136, 145, 147, 192, 204 ; 
Grammar School, 60 ; Guildhall, 
59 ; Knavesmire, 135 ; Minster, 
200, 201, 203, 204* ; St. Martin 
le Belfry, 203 ; St. Mary's Abbey, 
28 ; St. Olave's Parish, 147 ; 
Stonegate, 204 ; Swinegate, 95 ; 
Vale of, xiv 

York and Anisty District, 147 

Yorkshire, xiv, 13, 16, 18, 120, 125, 
143, 179, 201, 205 ; Manors, 13 ; 
Parishes, 67 ; West Riding of, 
xi, 127 

Yorkshire Archaeological Society's 
Library, 173 


The asterisk (*) near the number of the page indicates that the name 
is repeated in the same page. 

Act for the dissolution of Chantries 
( I 545). 57 I Parish Registers, 65 ; 
of Uniformity (1662), 124, 127 

Acts of Parliament, 38, 55, 121, 123, 
1 86, 187 

Adel Registers (Thoresby Society), 


Agricultural Disaster, the, 167-171 

Agricultural Labourer, status of, 

Analogy, Butler, 93 

Angles, 5 

Anglo-Saxons, 5, 10, n, 188 ; 
Anglo-Saxon times, 139 ; Anglo- 
Saxon village, 8 

Arber's reprints of books on Hus- 
bandry, etc., 115 

Articles to be enquired into within the 
Archdeaconry of Yorke by the 
Church Wardens and Sworne Men, 
circa 1630 ; quotation from, 97 

Augustinians of Bolton, 196 

Austwicks of Pontefract, 53-55 

Badsworth Hunt, 144* ; members 

of, 1 80 

Badsworth Records, 198 
Bakewell's Dishley Leicesters, 117 
Banns published at the Market 

Cross, 68 

Baptisms discouraged, 67 
Barnabae Itinerarium, commonly 

known as Drunken Barnaby's 

journal, R. Braithwaite, 94, 96, 


Barons of the Exchequer, 92 
Barton Family, 139-140 
Battle of Winwaed, xii 
Beginnings, the, 3-10 

Biographical Notes of the Yorkshire 

Tenants, named in Domesday 

Book. A. S. Ellis 
Board of Agriculture, 187 
Bolton Priory, Grants of land at 

Wentbridge to, 196 
Book of Common Prayer, use of, 67 
Books relating to Parish Life, list 

of, 205, 206 
Bordars, 15 
Bretons, the, 17 
Brockodale, origin of the name, xv 

Calendar of Inquisitions for the 
County of York, Public Record 
Office, London, 147 

Calendarium Rusticum, or The 
Husbandman's Monthly Direc- 
tions, 115 

Cambridge, Atkinson and Clarke's, 


Carthusians, 48 
Carucate, meaning of, 15 
Catholic Emancipation, 173-174 
Catholic Hierarchy, Restoration of, 


Catholicism in the eighteenth cen- 
tury, 124, 125 
Cavalier, xiii, 79 
Cavalier Garrison in Pontefract 

Castle, 53 
Celts, 4, 5, 10, 1 88 
Certificate of publication of Banns 

in the Market Place, Knares- 

borough, 68 

Chantries, destruction of, 49 
Charter of St. John the Evangelist 

of Pontefract, 28* 
Chartulary of Bolton Priory, 196 
Chartulary of St. John of Pontefract, 

Holmes, 191 




Christian Names (uncommon) men- 
tioned in Darrington Parish 
Registers, 66 

Church, condition of, in the eigh- 
teenth century, 108 

Church, the Established, 124-127, 
129, 152, 165 

Church Guilds, 76, 77 

Church Life (1700-1750), 106-113 ; 
Revival of, 172-184 

Church Life and Church affairs, 185 

Church plate, 201 

Churches, whitewashing of the inner 
walls of, 199, 200 

Churchwardens of Darrington (165 8) 


Churchwardens and overseers of 
Darrington, 202 

" Civil Society and Government 
Vindicated from the charge of 
being Founded on and preserved 
by Dishonest Acts," Dr. Burrow, 
Vicar of Darrington, 113 

Civil War, seventeenth century, 
79*. 80 

Clarendon, quotation from, 89 

Clergy, condition of, in the six- 
teenth century, 38 ; income of, 
in the eighteenth century, 108 

Clerics, list of pre-Reformation 
(1281-1537), 5L 52 

Coaching days, end of, 141-145 

" Coke's Clippings," 118 

Collecting in Churches for other 
Parishes, 70, 71 

Coming of the Friars, Jessopp, 32, 33 

Commissioners appointed to survey 
the Chantries, Guilds, and Hos- 
pitals in the County of York, 200 

Committee of Religion (1641), 67 

Committee of the West Riding, 102 

Corby, Roger de, Vicar, Institution 
of, 197 

Corn Laws, 154, 155, 167* 

Cottars, 14 

Coucher Book of the Cistercian Abbey 
ofKirkstall, Thoresby Society, 193 

Council of the North, 1537, 59, 60 

Crimean War, 154, 156 

Cross discovered at Cridling Park, 
183, 184 

Crusades, 108 

Curates' salaries in the eighteenth 
century, 108 ; Curates at Dar- 
rington, 112 

Customs of Yorkshire (1814), 205 

Danes, 12, 13 

Danish incursions, 6 

Dark Ages, 37 

Darrington, meaning of name, 5 ; 
in the thirteenth century, 20-25 ; 
in the fourteenth century, 198 ; 
in the sixteenth century, 34-39 ; 
1835-1875, 153-166 ; Church 
(1530), 4047 ; description of, 
176-178 ; contributors to the 
cost of restoration, etc., 180, 181 ; 
communication with the outside 
world, 163 ; connection of, with 
Kirkstall Abbey, 193 ; Christmas 
Festivities at, 160, 161 ; Curious 
Entries in the Parish Registers, 
69, 70 ; Education in, in the 
nineteenth century, 157, 158; 
Funeral customs at, 160; Manor 
of, 1709-1750, 102-103; Method- 
ists, 129* ; Methodist Chapel 
128, 130 ; Parish Magazine, 183 
Parish Registers, 64, 69, 70, 93 
95, 112, 146, 149, 199*, 204 
pre-Conquest owners of, 191 
Shrove Tuesday customs at, 160 
Vicars of, 37, 38, 62, in, 153 

Darrington and the Priory of St. 
John at Pontefract, 194 

Darrington and Stapleton in the 
fourteenth century, 198 

De Lacy ownership of Yorkshire 
land, 16-19 

Derby, the 137 

Dictionarium Rusticum, or, The 
Interpretation of Rustick Terms, 


Directory of Public Worship 

(Presbyterian), 67 
Dissertation on the Happy Influence of 

Society merely Civil, Burrow, 113 
Domesday Book, 6*, 13-15, 19, 191 
Domesday Survey, 6, 19 
Dominicans, 30 

Ducatus Leodiensis, Thoresby, 94 
Durham Assizes, 1793, 205 

Early Yorkshire Schools, Y.A.S. 

Record Series, 148 
Eboracum, Drake, 112 
Education Act, 1876, 169 
Education in Darrington in the 

nineteenth century, 157, 158 
Eighteenth century, its character, 



English dissent, 130 
English Parish Church, Dr. Cox, 200 
English Parish Registers, 65 
Estcourt family ; their connection 
, with Oxford University, the 
House of Commons, etc., 150-152 
Euphrates Expedition, 1834, 151 
Evangelical movement, 126 

Farmers and farming in the eigh- 
teenth century, 114-123 

Farmhouse of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, 22-24 

Farming, English, 187, 188 

Farrar, Wm., Tomb of, in Darring- 
ton Church, 95 

Feudalism, n 

Field Names, 201 

Fitz Williams and the de Scargills, 

Flamborough Registers, 68 

Food in the thirteenth century, 23, 

Fox Feast at Wentbridge, 144 

Franchise, the, 154 

Franciscans, 3133 

Free Trade, 168, 169 

French Parish Registers, 64, 65 

Friars, the, 30-33, 128 

Frisians, 5 

Funeral Customs at Darrington, 
1 60 

Game Acts, 187 
Gipsies, 144 
Gloucester Journal, 1 75 
Goldsmith's picture of village pas- 
tor, no 

Great Exhibition, 154 
Great Rebellion, time of, xii 
Grey Friars, 30 

Harleian MS., 197 

Harrying of the North, 13 

Hayward, the, 8 

Heart of Midlothian, Scott, 141 

Heywood, Oliver, quotation from 

his Diary ; arrest, etc., of Nevin- 

son, 100, 101 
High Toby, xiii, 99 
Highway life in the seventeenth 

century, 202 
Highwaymen, xiii 

| Historical Growth of the English 
Parish Church, A. Hamilton 
Thompson, 197 

History of English Rural Life, 
Fordham, 75 

History of the Evangelical Party, 
Balleine, 109 

History of His Own Time, Burnet, 

History of Knaresborough, Hargrove 

History of Loidis and Elmete, Whit- 
taker, 88 

History of Parish Registers, Burn, 65 

Holgate Family and Stapleton, 58- 


Homagers, 14 
Hopkinson MS., 199 
Husbandman of the Stuart and 
early Georgian periods, 119 

Improvements Acts, 187 

Index of Wills from the Dean and 

Chapter's Court at York, Y.A.S. 

Record Series, 148 
Indian Mutiny, 154 
Inns on the Great North Road, 


Irish, 4 ; peasantry, 24 
Ironsides, 80 

Jesuit Fathers, 131 

Joseph Andrews, Fielding, no; 

Parson Adams and Parson Trul- 

liber, no 
Jutes, 5 

Katherine Howard (Queen), charge 

of adultery against, 60 
Keble's Assize Sermon, 165 
Kirkstall Abbey, connection of 
Darrington with, 193 ; con- 
nection of Wentbridge and 
Stapleton with, 195 
Knaresborough Register, 68 
Knaresborough Wills, Surtees So- 
ciety, 197 

Lancastrians, xii 
Lansdowne MSS., 103 
Leeds Intelligencer, 162 
Leeds Mercury, 162 



Leeds Parish Church Registers, 

Thoresby Society, 147 
Leland's Itinerary, 195 
Letters of Peter Plymley, 174 
Life and Letters of Sir George Savile, 

Bart., First Marquess of Halifax, 

Foxcroft, 88 
Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. 

Victor, 182 

Local Government Act, 1894, 186 
Long Parliament, 67 
Lyra Regis, 182 

Manor - house of the thirteenth 
century, 21, 22 

Manor of Darrington, 1709-1750, 

Manor of Stapleton, 1702-1749, 
104, 105 ; 1762-1814, 131-133 

Marriages performed by Magis- 
trates, 67 

Meadsman, the, 8 

Meletemaia Darringtoniana : an 
Essay on Divine Providence, 
Burrow, 113 

Methodist Chapel built at Darring- 
ton, 128, 130 

Methodist preachers, 127, 128 ; 
Revival, 125, 126 

Methodists and the village life, 124- 

Middle Ages, 37, 197* 

Miseries and Great Hardships of the 
Inferior Clergy, Thos. Stackhouse, 

Monasticism, 49 

Monasticon, Burton, 195 

Monument in Darrington Church to 
the memory of Alexander Blair, 

Mort, the, 7*, 8* ; Hill, 7 ; Tree, 7 

National Insurance Act, 1911, 187 
Nevinson the Highwayman, 96-101 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Courant, 205 
Newspaper Tax repealed, 1855, 154, 

Nonconformity in the eighteenth 

century, 124, 127 
Normans, xvi, 912, 45, 80 
Norman barons, 16 ; Conquest, 9, 

102, 148, 191 ; incursion, 24 ; 

owners, 16 ; Settlement, 11-15 
Nostell Priory Coucher Book, 195 

Nostell Priory, Grants of land at 

Wentbridge to, 195 
Notes on Yorkshire Churches, Sir 

Stephen Glynne, 1 76 

Old Age Pension Act, 187 
Oliver Twist, Dickens, 78 
Order in Council, 1535, 48 
Osgoldcross, Upper Division, Petty 

Sessions for, 144 
Oxford Movement, the, 125, 165 

Parish Churches, building of, 197 ; 

spoliation of, 49 
Parish Life in England before the 

Great Pillage, Jessopp, 43, 50 
Parish Life, list of books relating to, 

205, 206 
Parish Registers, 64-74 ' carelessly 

kept, 72 
Parishioners bound to provide 

necessaries for the services of the 

Church, 43, 44 
Parliament, 107, 148, 149 
Parliamentary Forces, 79, 80 
Parsonage, a country, in the six- 
teenth century, 38, 39 
Penal Laws, 125 
Petre, Mr. E. R., at Stapleton, 134- 


Pilgrimage of Grace, xii, 49, 50 

Poaching, 144 

Poll Tax, 1378, 146, 198 

Pontefract, names of, before the 
Norman Conquest, 192 ; the 
Charters of the Cluniac House of 
St. John at, 191 

Poor, care of, 76, 77 ; Poor Law, 
77 ; Poor Law Administration, 
83, 84, 86 ; Poor Law Amend- 
ment Acts, 1834 and 1865, 122 ; 
Poor Law Guardians, 35 ; Treat- 
ment of the Poor in the seven- 
teenth century, 202 

Pre-Reformation Vicars, 1281-1537, 

Present , the, and the Future, 185-189 

Privy Council, 59, 116 

Puritan Period of English History, 
67 ; Puritan persecution, 81, 82 ; 
Puritans, 95 ; Puritanism, 67 

Quarter Sessions Records, 119 


Racing and Race Horses, 136, 137 

Raising of Jairus's Daughter, 173 

Rape of the Lock, Pope, 132 

Reeve, the, 8 

Reform Act, 154 

Reformation, 30, 37, 48-52, 75, 97, 
108, in, 121, 127, 159 

Regency, the, 135 

Register of Archbishop Melton, 197 

Register of the Burials in York 
Minster, accompanied by Monu- 
mental Inscriptions, and Illus- 
trated, with Biographical Notices 
by R. H. Skaife, 203 

Relief of Rates Acts, 187 

Religion in England in the eigh- 
teenth century, 106, 124 

Restoration, 67, 126 

Revival of Church Life, 172-184 

Riding the Stang, 204 

Rising of the North, 51 

Road Acts, 187 ; Roads bad and in 
a perilous state, 86 ; Roads im- 
proved in eighteenth century, 119 

Roman Catholic Church, 152 ; 
Roman pioneers, 4 ; Romans, 
xvi, 4, 86 

Roundhead, xiii, 79 

Royal Navy, connection of 
Sotherons with, 149, 150 

Royalist Forces, 79 

Rural Life, 75 

St. Leger at Doncaster, 136, 137 

Salvation Army, 30 

Saviles at Stapleton, 92-95 ; Savile 

family, 88-91 ; branches of, 92 
Saxons, 5, 
Scargills, the de, and the Fitz 

Williams, 26-29 
Scots, 89 
Short History of the English People, 

Green, 126 

Shrove Tuesday customs at Dar- 
lington, 1 60 

Sixteenth century, 34-39 
Social and economic conditions, 

1550-1650, 75-87 
Social and Industrial History of 

England, Tickner, 124 
Socmen, 8, 14 
Sotherons and Sotheron-Estcourts, 


Spanish Garrison in Gibraltar, 74 
Stage Coaches, 120 

Stang-riding, 161, 204 

Stapleton, meaning of, 5, 6 ; Sale 

of Manor, 139 
Stapleton and Darrington in the 

fourteenth century, 198 
Stapleton and the Holgate Family, 


Stapleton Manor, 1702-1749, 104- 
105 ; 1762-1814, 131-133 

Stapleton and Wentbridge con- 
nection with Kirkstall Abbey, 

Statute of Archbishop Peckham, 

43. 44 

Stuarts, 86 ; Stuart cause, xii ; 
Stuart times, 63 ; Stuart and 
Early Georgian Periods, husband- 
man of, 119 

Sunday-schools established, 126 

Superstition of village folk of the 
Victorian Era, 1 59 

Suppression of the Greater Monas- 
teries, 49 ; of the Lesser Religious 
Houses, 49 

Surnames in the townships of 
Darrington and Stapieton, 198; 
Surnames in the Darrington 
Parish Registers, 66 

Surtees Society, vii ; publications, 

Systemata Agricultures, the Mystery 
of Husbandry discovered, 115 

Tammany Ring, 50 

Tennyson's " Northern Farmer," 
1 66 

Testamenta Leodiensia (Wills of 
Leeds, Pontefract, Wakefield, 
and Otley), Thoresby Society, 

J 47 

Thoresby Society, vii 

Tithes Act, 1891, 187 

Torre MSS., 60 

Trades at Darrington in the eigh- 
teenth century, 114 

Tudors, 60 ; Tudor days, 119 

Turnpike Trusts, 120 

Unitarianism, 152 

Vicars of Darrington, 37, 38, 62, 

I", 153 
Village feast at Darrington, 160 



Village life and the Methodists, 124- 

Village life in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, i 55-1 57 

Villagers interest in weddings and 
funerals, 159, 160 

Villeins, 14 

Visitation of Yorkshire, 147 

Wages in the sixteenth century, 35, 

Wakefield Court Rolls, Y.A.S. 
Record Series, 146 

Wakefield General Sessions, 102 

Wakefield Quarter Sessions, 1641, 

Wars of the Roses, xii, 37 

Wardenships at London, Cam- 
bridge, Bristol, Oxford, New- 
castle, Worcester, and York, 31 

Wentbridge Chantry, 56, 57 

Wentbridge entry in the Knares- 
borough Wills, 197 

Wentbridge, grants of land at, to 
Bolton Priory, 196 ; to Nostell 
Priory, 195 

Wentbridge and Stapleton, con- 
nection of, with Kirkstall Abbey, 


Wentbridge, Fox Feast at, 144 
Wesleyan movement, 126 
Wesleys, 127* ; Wesley's (John) 

Journal, 127 
West Riding Quarter Sessions 

Records, 62, 71, 

West Riding Session's Rolls, 202*, 


White Friars, 30 
Whitehead, Dorothy, affairs of, 


Winwaed, Battle of, xii 
Will of, Dionise Austwicke, 54 ; 

James Greenwood, 95 ; George 

Holgate, 62 ; Earl of Sussex, 90 ; 

James Thwaites, 56 
Wills of the York Registry, 147 
Witches and wise women, burning 

of, 98 

Woodreve, the, 8 
Woodrove, Richard, appointment 

of, as Registrar of Darrington, 

69*, 70 
Woolley Charter, 28*, 193 

York Assizes, 145 

York Minster Registers, 147 

York Wills, 53, 54, 56 

Yorkist, xii 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 6, 

80, 176, 183 
Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 

vii ; Record Series, 194 
Yorkshire Deeds, Wills, etc., 146 
Yorkshire Lay Subsidy, 148 
Yorkshire Parish Register Society, 

vii, 64, 65, 182 
Yorkshire Post, 162 
Yorkshire Star Chamber Proceedings, 

Y.S.A. Record Series, 148 
Young Pretender's Rising, 127 



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